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Cornell University Library 
DS 109.3.C14H5 

Herod's Temple : 

3 1924 028 590 374 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



THE TABERNACLE : Its History and 

Structure. With Preface by Prof. Sayce, D.D. Second 
Edition. 5S. Religious Tract Society, London. 

" Exhausts the subject." — Scotsman. 

" Interesting, unconventional and original." — Record. 

" A monument of research." — Birmingham Post. 

" Deeply interesting : a new departure." — The Chi-istian. 

SOLOMON'S TEMPLE: Its History and 

Structure. With Preface by Prof. Sayce, D.D. Second 
Edition. 6S. Religious Tract Society, London. 


Its History and its Structure. Illustrated with two large 
Folding Plans, each measuring 2ojns. by 15 ins., and six 
other Maps and Plans. Demy 8vo. 412 pp. Published 
at 10s. 6d. New Copies 5s. 

The Times Book Club, 376, Oxford Street, London, W. 

" He presents a mass of information which cannot fail to be of service to 
every student of the Bible." — Expository Times, 

_ " Painstaking, illustrative, and suggestive as its predecessors. It is instruc- 
tive that an architect has been able to reproduce Ezekiel's design solely from 
the schedule of the ninety-six architectural measurements given by Ezekiel, 
which Mr. Caldecott has drawn up in his first appendix." — British Weekly. 

LEAVES OF A LIFE. An Autobiography. 

Crown Svo. 208 pp. Paper covers,; cjoth gilt, 
2s. net. Charles H. Kelly, 25-35, Cit y Road, London, E. C . 


With an Introduction by the Right Rev. the Bishop of 
Durham. 200 pp. Paper boards, 2s. 6d. net ; cloth 
boards, 3S. net. 

From the Bishop's Introduction: — "I strongly commend this varied and 
suggestive collection of essays to the reader who desires, on the one hand, to be 
set thinking for himself about the literary and historical phenomena of the Holy 
Book ; and, on the other, to have his conviction of its holiness and truth intelli- 
gently developed." 


Frontispiece in black and gold, and Photograph of the 
Author's Model of the Temple. 1 6 pp. Crown 8vo, Is. 

This Model is on view in the Book Saloon at 2S--j= Citv 
Road, London, E.C. 3 y 

l^r?*^''^ S -~ffi-- ■'."• ilSVC" ^** s ^j s $SS3^/?7'>! dfirli-hsfWif^ ?..-;. i 








I will not cease from mental fight, 
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, 

Till we have built Jerusalem 
In England's green and pleasant land. 











TN the preparation of this book I have had some 
-*- assistance. From materials supplied to him for 
each chapter, my literary friend, Mr. Henry T. Hooper, 
has written up nearly the whole of the first part. 
Readers will benefit by the temporary ailment of my 
eyes which has made this a necessity, as Mr. Hooper's 
light and graceful pen will enable them to appreciate 
some critical points of exegesis and of description 
which have arisen in the course of the narrative. At 
the same time I have retained full control of the manu- 
script, so that I alone am responsible for every state- 
ment in it. 

If, in the previous three volumes of this series, we 
have what may be compared to the root, the stem, 
and the branch, in this fourth and last volume the 
flower is produced for which the others were brought 
into existence. Nothing would have repaid the labour 
of their preparation had not the writer had the theme 
of Herod's Temple in view, and had he not always 
hoped to end his researches in those holy courts where 
Jesus walked and talked. 


With the issue of this volume my ten years' onerous 
and self-imposed task is done. The last of the series 
of books on the sacred building of the Jews now 
leaves my hand, and does not do so without carrying 
with it some reminiscent thoughts. 

It was on retiring from the active work of the 
Christian Ministry that I found myself with broken 
health, unable to do much more than turn over the 
leaves of my study Bible. A series of coincidences — 
some would call them providences— led me to study 
the metrology of the book, with the result that I 
arrived at the conclusion that the Biblical cubit had 
three distinct lengths, each one of which had a specific 
application which was never departed from. Having 
found a theoretical key, what so natural as to ascertain 
if it would fit the wards of a lock the bolt of which had 
been shot for centuries ? First experiments having 
been hopeful, other steps were taken, each of which 
tended to confirm my faith in the measures of the 
Senkereh Babylonian tablet and of the scale of King 
Gudea's palace as being those used in Palestine. To 
the Temple courts I gave a cubit of a foot and a half ; 
to the Temple buildings a cubit of a foot and a fifth, 
and to the golden furniture of the Sanctuary, a sacred 
cubit of nine-tenths of a foot. The data I had to work 
upon with these lengths, respectively, of 18, 14-4, and 
io-8 inches, were the particulars in Exodus of the 


Tabernacle, the 40 measures of Solomon's Temple, the 
100 of Ezekiel's plan of the second Temple, and the 
150 of the Herodian Temple, taken from Josephus and 
the Talmud. All these have now been co-ordinated 
and architecturally applied, with the result that no 
essential corrections have been found necessary in the 
Biblical records themselves, and no impossible demand 
is made by any of them on the builder or reconstructor. 
Whether this accumulation of evidence is sufficient to 
convince the archseologist — who is usually as shy of a 
new theorem as a nightingale is of a fowling-piece — 
remains to be seen. 

To myself, while elaborating the process of recon- 
struction — in itself a delightful work — the argument 
has seemed to gain- strength, and I have felt like the 
builder of an arch of which the beauty and strength 
would not be seen until the keystone had been put in 
place. This monograph on Herod'sTemple is such a 
keystone, and it is with mingled feelings of regret at 
parting with an old friend and of hope that I have 
contributed to the solution of a great problem that 
I now take leave of my work. 

W. S. C. 

Silver How, 

West Cliff Gardens, 



The Historical Environment 
The documents— Josephus and Christianity— Pharisees— 
Sadducees — Essenes — Formulative history from 135 B.C. — 
Roman overlordship — A temple court the focus of Jewish 
social life— Synagogues Pa S e 28 

Process and Progress of the Building 
The Messianic expectation — Herod a poor substitute — Naos 
built by priests in uniform— What that uniform was — 
Stone from the royal quarries — No mortar used— The inner 
and outer veils of the Naos — Its completion — Wholesome 
Jewish views of labour — Building of the Hieron — Plundering 
of David's sepulchre — The affair of the golden eagle . 39 

The Hope of Israel 
Benefits of mingling with New Testament people — Analogies 
of parish church deceptive — First scene in the Temple — The 
Zacharias story — Defence of Luke's mention of Cyrenius — 
Presentation of Jesus in the Temple — A descendant of David 
— Slaughter of the Holy Innocents — Accession of Archelaus 
and the return to Nazareth ...... 50 

The Ministry of Jesus in Jerusalem 

Mildness of Roman provincial rule — The boy Jesus in the 
Hieron — The Teaching Ministry of Jesus in Temple begins 
— A festival mart held in the great Portico — Jesus' expulsion 
of the hucksters — Discussion on the saying, ' Destroy this 
Naos ' ......... 62 

The New Teaching 
Characteristics of the new teaching — Instances of its incidental 
and sporadic nature — Jesus' farewell visit to the Temple — 
Pharisees and publicans seen by Him there — His apocalyptic 
vision of the Temple's fall ...... 78 


Jesus Before the Sanhedrin 

The arrest — The first trial, before Annas — Peter's place at each 
of his denials of Jesus — The adjuration of the High Priest, 
Caiaphas — The prisoner found guilty of blasphemy — New 
charges against Him formulated for Pilate . . Page 92 

Jesus Before Pilate 
The charge of sedition fails — Barabbas offered as an alterna- 
tive victim — Scourging and ridicule of the prisoner tried — 
Charges of disloyalty and treason made against Him — 
Threats of complaint to Rome — Pilate yields — Removal of 
the tribunal chair to the Temple pavement — Sentence 
pronounced ......... 105 


The Temple in Apostolic Times 

Solomon's Portico the place of Pentecost — A scene at the 
Nicanor Gate of this Portico — Roman officers, Petronius and 
Cumanus — The affair of Agrippa's lounge — Paul's last visit 
to Jerusalem — Arrested on a false charge — A stone of the 
Soreg lately discovered . . . . . . .114 

The Beginning of the End 
The Lord's brother elected president of the Church — Party of 
the Zealots increasingly active — -Rapid succession of Roman 
procurators — Additional troops marched to Jerusalem — 
Zealots occupy a part of the Temple — Civil war follows — 
The three parties in Jerusalem . . . . .129 

The End of the Temple 

Ultimate causes of the war — The Passover of a.d. 70 — First 
attack of Titus ineffectual — Fall of the Antonia tower — The 
enclosure of the Temple stormed — Its gates burned — Date 
of the Temple fall — The western city taken — Closing 
scenes — Some existing relics of the Temple . . 143 


Greek New Testament. 
Revised Version of English Bible. 

' Survey of Western Palestine.' 7 vols. Palestine Ex- 
ploration Fund, London. 

Middoth, or Measurements of the Temple (reprinted in 
an appendix). 

The Works of Flavius Josephus. 5 vols. Bohn's 
Library. Whiston's translation, revised by Shillito, with 
topographical notes by Wilson. 

(The ' Antiquities ' are indicated by Ant., and the 
' Jewish War ' by War.) 


Preface ........ Page v 



Herod the Great, King of the Jews 

His contradictory character and remarkable career — Typical 
incidents of his life — A favourite of Rome — Places his 
tribunal chair near the Temple Gates — His magnificence, 
his splendour, his extravagance — Jewish resentment . . i 


Why and How Herod Built the Temple 

Built to conciliate his subjects and to glorify himself — The 
existing Temple variously despoiled — It had no royal 
apartment — And no Gentile court — Herod's diplomatic 
speech — Jewish objections, how dealt with — The Temple hill 
— Site prepared — Workmen and materials — Finance . .10 



Ruling ideas, embodied in structure, were those of reverence 
in worship and classification of worshippers — A fivefold 
gradation secured by a fivefold delimitation — The New 
Testament terms used to express this — Naos in some pas- 
sages, Hieron in others — The case of Judas as exemplifying 
this . ig 



The Historical Environment 
The documents— Josephus and Christianity — Pharisees — 
Sadducees — Essenes — Formulative history from 135 b.c. — 
Roman overlordship — A temple court the focus of Jewish 
social life — Synagogues Pa S B z8 

Process and Progress of the Building 
The Messianic expectation — Herod a poor substitute — Naos 
built by priests in uniform — What that uniform was — 
Stone from the royal quarries — No mortar used — The inner 
and outer veils of the Naos — Its completion — Wholesome 
Jewish views of labour — Building of the Hieron — Plundering 
of David's sepulchre — The affair of the golden eagle . 39 

The Hope of Israel 

Benefits of mingling with New Testament people — Analogies 
of parish church deceptive— First scene in the Temple — The 
Zacharias story — Defence of Luke's mention of Cyrenius — 
Presentation of Jesus in the Temple — A descendant of David 
— Slaughter of the Holy Innocents — Accession of Archelaus 
and the return to Nazareth ...... 50 

The Ministry of Jesus in Jerusalem 
Mildness of Roman provincial rule — The boy Jesus in the 
Hieron — The Teaching Ministry of Jesus in Temple begins 
— A festival mart held in the great Portico— Jesus' expulsion 
of the hucksters — Discussion on the saying, ' Destroy this 
Naos ' ......... 62 

The New Teaching 
Characteristics of the new teaching — Instances of its incidental 
and sporadic nature — Jesus' farewell visit to the Temple — 
Pharisees and publicans seen by Him there — His apocalyptic 
vision of the Temple's fall ...... 78 



Jesus Before the Sanhedrin 

The arrest — The first trial, before Annas — Peter's place at each 
of his denials of Jesus — The adjuration of the High Priest, 
Caiaphas — The prisoner found guilty of blasphemy — New 
charges against Him formulated for Pilate . . Page 92 

Jesus Before Pilate 
The charge of sedition fails — Barabbas offered as an alterna- 
tive victim — Scourging and ridicule of the prisoner tried — 
Charges of disloyalty and treason made against Him — 
Threats of complaint to Rome — Pilate yields — Removal of 
the tribunal chair to the Temple pavement — Sentence 
pronounced . . . . . . . . .105 


The Temple in Apostolic Times 

Solomon's Portico the place of Pentecost — A scene at the 
Nicanor Gate of this Portico — Roman officers, Petronius and 
Cumanus — The affair of Agrippa's lounge — Paul's last visit 
to Jerusalem — Arrested on a false charge — A stone of the 
Soreg lately discovered . . . . . . -114 

The Beginning of the End 

The Lord's brother elected president of the Church — Party of 
the Zealots increasingly active — Rapid succession of Roman 
procurators — Additional troops marched to Jerusalem — 
Zealots occupy a part of the Temple — Civil war follows — 
The three parties in Jerusalem . . . . .129 


The End of the Temple 
Ultimate causes of the war — The Passover of a.d. 70 — First 
attack of Titus ineffectual — Fall of the Antonia tower — The 
enclosure of the Temple stormed — Its gates burned — Date 
of the Temple fall — The western city taken — Closing 
scenes — Some existing relics of the Temple . . -143 


The Temple in Christian Thought 
Terminology of St. Paul — In Galatians — In Ephesians — In 
Philippians— - The Temple in James' epistle — In Hebrews — 
In Peter i. and ii. — In Revelation — Judaism versusV niveisal 
Christianity— The abiding lesson of the Mosaic dispensa- 
tion P*ge l6 ° 


Our Sources of Knowledge 
Josephus as a man and as an historian — The general correct- 
ness of his description of the Temple — Origin and probable 
date of the tractate Middoth — Its value to the Biblical 
archaeologist — Lightfoot's Plan misleading — M. Ganneau 
and Dr. Long on the Warning Stone of Herod's Temple — 
Their practical agreement — Its measures those of the Greek 
foot 172 

Area and Levels of the Temple 

Site datum from which the area is calculated — Duplication of 
area in each succeeding building — Ultimately an enclosed 
space of 300 feet square — One-fourth of this space reserved 
for use of proselytes — Height datum from which the levels 
are calculated — Levels show variations of twelve feet in dif- 
ferent parts of the Temple . . . . . .183 

The Thirteen Gates of the Enclosure 
The Enclosure wall behind the Temple, its distance away — 
Three gates recognized in its north and in its south sides — A 
fourth unnamed gate there on either side — The ninth, 
Nicanor, the ' Beautiful Gate ' of Acts — The gates identi- 
fied—Notes : (1) The Beautiful Gate of the Temple ; (2) The 
women's gates of exit ....... 194. 



Two Ancient Gates on Moriah 

The Sushan Gate, now the Golden Gate — The Gate of the 
Sanctuary facing the Golden Gate — This the ' Sheep Gate ' 
of Nehemiah and John — A roadway or street connected 
these two gates — This street shown in map of twelfth 
century Page 211 


The Temple Terrace, or Chel 

The Chel of Ezekiel's Temple plan a square of 750 feet— The 
Chel of Herod's Temple a square of 600 feet — Given by Jose- 
phus as ' a furlong ' square — Within this square was the 
smaller square of the Tr Enclosure — Without was the 
larger square of ' The Mountain of the House ' — These 
names extended to small spaces within the Tr Enclosure . 226 


The Royal Portico and Its Western Approach 

Site of the Sloa basilica now occupied by the el-Aksa mosque 
— Its cross measures those of the remains of Robinson's 
bridge — The Pastophoria — Origin of the name and uses of 
the Pastophorian . . . . . . . .241 


The Double Porticoes, or Outermost Temple 

Five furlongs in length — Their distribution — Their floriated 
capitals — Completion of the Temple delayed — Pillars round 
the Dome of the Rock — Barclay's, Wilson's, and Warren's 
Gates .......... 252 


The Great Moat North of the Temple 

The Temple and city defences distinct — The Temple area un- 
protected by walls on one side — Strabo's mention of a fosse 
on the north of Moriah — Remains of the moat still seen — Its 
original dimensions ....... 266 



The Construction of the Middle or Greater Sorbg 
Its exact position within the Enclosure— Its thirteen lengths 
of brickwork— Opus reticulatum — Its ' pillars ' and Warn- 
ing Stones — Legal basis of its erection — The three Soregs Page 275 


The Temple or Hieron 

Its position to the south of the Naos — Line of the wall dividing 
the two — The Square of the Women's Court — Its corner 
chambers and their several uses — Its social uses — Named 
'The Treasury' — Attained by fifteen steps from the Soreg — 
Its other steps — Sundry chambers outside the Women's Court 282 


The Temple or Naos: Its Subsidiary Portions 

Meaning of naos to Greek-speaking Hebrews — The two courts 
for worshippers — The duchan or pulpit in which the Law was 
read — The steps and the broad landing immediately before 
the Temple — The altar — The pyonaos — The store-rooms — 
The Treasuries — The Golden Vine ..... 296 


The Temple or Naos, continued : Its Altar and 
Sacrificial System 

An abundant water supply — The cleanly carrying out of the 
sacrificial system — Sundry chambers on the north side of the 
Temple — The Beth Moked and its four small chambers — - 
Titus' attempted breach made at gate- No. 5 — The Great 
Altar of Sacrifice ........ 309 


The Temple or Naos, continued : The Holy Chambers 

Their size and appearance — Their upper story — Three tiers of 

priests' rooms — Their flat roofs — The gabled roof of the 

Temple — Police galleries — The window by which the Temple 

was fired — Note on a Subway to the Naos . . . 320 


The Temple Water Supply 
A single spring of water at Jerusalem — The Siloam tunnel — 
Solomon's pools, and the lower aqueduct — The upper aque- 
duct — The blood passage and other drain exits on the 
Haram Page 330 


The Sakhrah Stone 

Key to the entire system of the Temple — A part of the ridge 
of Moriah — Its size and appearance — Shows traces of chisel 
work — The basin on its surface — The square recess at its 
south-west corner — Its history before, during, and after the 
Crusades — The threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite — 
The platform on which the Temple altars stood — The 
horns of the altar — ' The stone which the builders rejected ' 338 


I. Schedule of Specifications . . . . . -355 

II. Middoth, or the measurements of the Temple, with extracts 

from the commentary of Rabbi Obadiah . . . 371 

Index .......... 389 



i The Temple of Herod — Bird's-eye view from the North- 

East Frontispiece 

2. Photograph of Curule Chair . . facing page m 

3. Hinge of an ancient city gate . . . .. 154 

4. Panel from the Arch of Titus in Rome . . „ 15 8 


5. Capitals supporting the Dome of the Rock . „ 256 

6. Photograph of Golden Gate in Jerusalem . „ 265 

7. Photo of Greek masonry and described repre- 

sentation of Soreg wall ... » 277 

8. The Sakhrah, viewed from the North- West 

corner ...... » 34° 

9. Surface cutting on Sakhrah .... .. 34 2 

10. The Sakhrah in Solomon's Temple . . „ 34 6 

The Sakhrah in Ezekiel's Temple . . „ 34 6 


(In pocket of cover) 

11. Ground Plan of Herod's Temple, with facade and cross sections. 

12. Mount Moriah in the time of Christ, showing site of Herod's 


[These two plans are detached for more convenient reference and 
are necessary for constant use during reading.] 




THE writer of the briefest character-sketch of 
Herod the Great has no easy task. Herod's 
descent, which was Idumean rather than Jewish, 
suggests contrary forces at work in the formation of 
his character, but is hardly sufficient to suggest, and 
still less to account for, the bewilderingly varied and 
even contrary phases of his many-sided nature. He 
married ten wives and murdered the one of them to 
whom he was most ardently attached. He adorned 
Jerusalem with buildings, and ordered that its leading 
men should be slain at his death so that mourning in 
the city should be real. He was magnificent for physical 
strength and beauty, and was a mere wild beast for 
passionate ferocity. ' He was, in short,' as Renan 
says, ' a majestic animal, a lion whose great neck and 
heavy mane are the things that count, and in whom 
you do not look for any moral sense.' 


Early in his singularly variegated career, while 
Governor of Galilee, he was summoned before the 
Sanhedrin on a charge of sacrilegious murder. In the 
laudable pursuit of his determination to root out a gang 
of robbers he had had the misfortune to find on killing 
its leader that he had committed the offence of killing 
a priest, a renegade priest, it is true, but nevertheless 
a priest. On the capital charge for this deed, he pre- 
sented himself to the Sanhedrin with a bodyguard and 
wearing a purple robe in regal fashion over his armour, 
the hair of his head finely trimmed, moreover, for the 
occasion. It is not surprising that so embarrassing a 
culprit was allowed to escape without punishment. 
The incident was typical. One is never quite sure 
whether one is dealing with a superb king or a base 
assassin when one is reading the story of this man. 
The final, if unsatisfactory, verdict must be that he 
was both the one and the other. 

While Herod was still a child of six (he was born in 
71 B.C.), Judaea had already become an integral part 
of the Roman Empire, after eighty years of inde- 
pendence. It must therefore be remembered in 
explanation, if not in extenuation, of his policy, that 
he had always before him the difficult problem of 
conciliating the Jews on the one hand and pleasing 
his Roman masters on the other. He was but fifteen 
years old (if we may believe Josephus) when he became 
Governor of Galilee, the first step in his career. The 
Galileans soon saw that he was a violent and bold man, 
and very desirous of acting tyrannically and in dis- 
dainful independence of the Sanhedrin. The mother 
of one of those that had already been slain by him 
was naturally among the first to complain of him, and 


she with others continued every day in the Temple 
(the then existing second temple) exciting and per- 
suading the people. Hence arose the abortive prose- 
cution already spoken of, after which the youthful 
governor allowed himself to be persuaded that for the 
moment it was sufficient to have made a show of his 
strength before the nation. 

For the next half-dozen years or so he appears to 
have managed political matters so well that at least 
some of the younger men among the Jews were found 
ready to recommend him to Rome for the office of 
tetrarch. He was indeed in need of some such advance- 
ment, for the Parthian enemies of Rome had ousted 
him from the Northern governorship, or were on the 
point of doing so. No enemy of his could be so hard- 
hearted as not to commiserate his evil fortune in being 
forced to set his wives upon beasts, as also his mother 
and sister, and the beautiful Hasmonean, Mariamne, 
whom he was about to marry, and carry them off 
furtively to Idumea for safety. In spite of his cour- 
ageous words to them, he was once so despondent as 
to be about to kill himself upon the overthrow of a 
wagon which nearly killed his mother upon the road. 
Some of his followers, however, dissuaded him from 
this too summary ending of his career, and so the 
whole party arrived safely at the fortress of Masada 
(now Sebbeh) at the southern end of the Dead Sea, 
not, however, without danger from the attacks of Jews 
along the route who were not his friends. Years 
afterwards he built an excellent palace, and a city 
round about it, on a spot where he had overcome their 

Not long after this escape he had reason to con- 


gratulate himself that he had not put an end to his 
life, for a sudden turn of fortune made it agreeable to 
Rome to appoint him King of Judaea in the year 40 B.C. 
To be appointed by the Romans was, however, not 
synonymous with being accepted by the Jews. The 
Maccabean dynasty was still nominally in power, and 
the memory of its glorious deeds during one hundred 
and twenty years was still cherished by the Jewish 
people. Of course, Herod was confident that, with 
Rome behind him, the Jews would not long be able 
to repudiate him. In order to hasten their acquiescence 
he now took the step of marrying (in addition to what- 
ever wives he may have had already) the beautiful 
Maccabean princess Mariamne, a step which we may 
well believe was as much dictated by his inclination as 
by his policy. A desultory civil strife followed, and 
within three years the Maccabean ruler, Antigonus, 
was slain, Jerusalem was captured, and Herod found 
himself master of a capital in ruins and of a people 
which detested him — ' being himself of no more than 
a vulgar family, and of no eminent extraction, but 
one that was subject to other kings,' as Josephus is 
careful to remind us. 

The early Hebrew Kings had held their judicial 
courts outside the eastern gate of the Temple. When 
Herod became King some alteration of this position 
became necessary by reason of the fact that he was 
not a Jew by birth, a case which contravened the law 
of Deuteronomy xvii. 15. A compromise was effected 
by which his court was situated at the southern gate 
and outside of it. Here he administered a rough 
justice in the open air after the manner of Eastern 
monarchs generally. Following this precedent, Pontius 


Pilate in later years held his court in the same place. 
The place came to be known later as Gabbatha, or 
The Pavement. 

Herod set himself without delay to administer in 
Jerusalem what was at best but a crude form of justice, 
and not that of the ancient law. He spoiled the 
wealthy men on behalf of his own friends ; he slew 
forty-five of the principal men of the party of Anti- 
gonus ; and he took care that a high priest whom he 
himself appointed should be murdered in a little time. 
No doubt he extended his influence, geographically, 
even so far as to become governor of the Arabs and to 
add several cities to his realm, but he seems to have 
known only two ways to power — blood and flattery. 
Mariamne herself became so disgusted at the constant 
butchery which went on that she could no longer 
endure his flattery. It hardly needs be added that 
neither her excellent character and greatness of soul 
nor Herod's passionate if intermittent attachment to 
her was sufficient to save her life. After her death the 
infatuated King raved as madly in his remorse as he had 
formerly done in his accusations. He was magnificent 
throughout — magnificent in his reiterated cruelty, mag- 
nificent in his greed, magnificent in his expenditure 
upon the embellishment of Jerusalem and other cities. 
His Massacre of the Innocents 1 and his rebuilding 
of the Temple are the incongruous but appropriate 
memorials of his singular life. As death began to 
approach he coloured his hair black and endeavoured 
to conceal his age ; moreover, he grew fierce, and 

1 The common way of dating years requires readjustment ; and, though 
it is now too late to alter the calendar, we must regard the year 4-3 B.C. 
as the year of our Lord's birth. 


indulged the bitterest anger upon all occasions or 
none ; he once more had thoughts of killing himself 
with his own hand, but raised himself upon his elbow 
to order his son to be slain instead ; and five days 
afterwards he died, in his seventieth year and in 
the thirty-seventh year of his actual reign, leav- 
ing nine wives to bewail his loss as they might be 

This, then, was the man who, in the ways of Provi- 
dence, was destined to build that Temple whose courts 
were trodden by our Lord and His disciples. Herod 
had a passion for building and embellishing temples, 
castles, theatres, cities, and harbours ; and it is 
satisfactory to note that this was amongst the more 
laudable, or, at all events, the less reprehensible, 
phases of his activity ; though there is no doubt that 
this also intensified, if that were possible, the hatred 
of the Jews towards him, because of the lavish ex- 
penditure involved. He appears to have begun, in 
25 B.C., by building a theatre at Jerusalem, as also a 
very great amphitheatre for the celebration of ' solemn 
games ' every fifth year in honour of Caesar. Not even 
the solemnity of these pagan games seems to have 
recommended them to the Jewish people, little accus- 
tomed to naked wrestlers and chariot races and gladia- 
tors fighting with wild beasts. 

Indeed, Herod did not anticipate the pleasing of 
anybody but his Roman masters in this instance, 
unless it were the pleasing of himself by public demon- 
strations of his own grandeur and munificence. For 
the safety of the people he fortified Strato's Tower, 
but renamed it Caesarea, for obvious reasons ; and for 
his own safety he rebuilt the fortress Antonia in 


Jerusalem and another fortress in Samaria, which he 
called Sebaste Augustan, hence the present Turkish 
name Sebustieh, and encompassed the northern capital 
with a wall of great strength. Moreover, he built 
there a sacred temple to Augustus and adorned it 
with many decorations. Ruins of the colonnade of 
this temple still remain and are visible on the 
long, isolated hill of Samaria, covered as it is with 
terraces of olive trees. As soon as his resources would 
permit he built himself a palace in Jerusalem, 1 raising 
the rooms to a very great height, and adorning them 
with costly furniture of gold and stones and rich 
paintings. Once more he turns his attention to 
Csesarea and began to carry out the idea of making 
it a city of white stone. He also made a harbour there, 
wherein great fleets might lie in safety. This he 
effected by letting down vast stones ' of above fifty 
feet in length by eighteen in breadth and nine in 
depth,' and upon piers of these he erected buildings 
of polished stone with a temple of Caesar and twin 
statues of Caesar and Rome by way of beacons or land- 
marks. On the shore and in view of the sea he built 
a vast amphitheatre and also a theatre of stone. During 
twelve years Herod laboured to make Caesarea a town 
that should be a Syrian rival of Athens, and Josephus 
naively adds that he did not fail to pay the charges. 
It became, at all events, the most important city in 
Palestine in the estimation of all but the Jewish 
people, and was the principal garrison of Rome in 

* This palace, which stood south of the Jaffa Gate, was protected on its 
northern side by three towers named Hippicus, Phasselus, and Mariamne. 
These towers were spared by Titus on the fall of the city. Remains of two 
of them are still visible ; one, bearing the name of the Tower of David, is 
familiar to all visitors to Jerusalem. 


Syria. To this day the sea has protected some of 
Herod's great blocks of stone which were intended to 
be a barrier against its waves, and the foundations of 
the Temple of Caesar are still visible. The amphi- 
theatre is still there, and still looks towards the sea. 
But the building of temples seems to have been the 
favourite hobby of the King. The source of the Jordan 
was marked by him with a temple which he dedicated 
to Csesar, and he now at last began the great work of 
the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. Mean- 
while he honoured his father's memory by building 
the eponymous city Antipatris (Acts xxiii. 31), and 
his mother's in like manner with another city which 
he called Cypros. His brother Phassel also is com- 
memorated by him in a city and the Jerusalem tower. 
In Greece as well as in Syria he built public works, at 
Rhodes, at Nicopolis, at Actium, at Antioch — for all 
of which he paid. Even Josephus is constrained to 
have respect for his magnificence and to admit that 
he had a nature vastly beneficent, in strange contrast 
with his unrelenting brutishness in raising money to 
pay for buildings in order to perpetuate the memory 
of his own greatness. For at least five-and-twenty 
years of his reign he was engaged in building operations 
which would be notable even in our times and with 
our engineering appliances ; his vast blocks of stone 
were sometimes brought long distances to the spot 
where he needed them ; the numbers of his workmen 
would tax the administrative skill of a modern em- 
ployer of labour ; and his wantonly luxurious em- 
bellishments might well be the envy of an American 
millionaire of the twentieth century. For such a man 
the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple was a congenial 


occupation, and would demand little of religious 
sentiment or enthusiasm to stimulate his operations. 
His figure on the page of history is that of a pictur- 
esque and royal ruffian, with an insatiable mania for 


IT has already become apparent that Herod was 
afflicted with what was nothing less than a mania 
for architecture on the grand scale. That was his way 
of erecting the enduring monument of his own mag- 
nificence, and it has not failed of its purpose. The 
buried and unburied remains of Jerusalem and Csesarea 
are to this day the unmistakable memorial of a man 
of great conceptions and marvellous powers. Greek 
ideas of munificent and ornate architecture can have 
had few more ardent exponents than Herod. But his 
ideas were a good deal too Greek to commend them to 
his Jewish subjects. It was obviously necessary to 
conciliate them as well as to conform his aims to those 
of the great world-powers of his time. Nothing, 
therefore, was more natural than that he should 
undertake the restoration of the Temple. Was he 
not himself, at all events, a Jewish proselyte ? The 
Temple restoration would do even more than combine 
in itself the whole of the various aims which he had 
kept before him in his other temples, his cities, his 
castles, and his hippodromes. He would be at once, 
so he hoped, adding to his own memorial, gratifying 
his own lust for the magnificent, and winning the 
loyalty of the Jews ; though this latter was, as we 
have seen, not so easy of attainment as the other two. 


The existing Temple had been standing for nearly 
five hundred years. Even in the climate of Palestine 
the mere lapse of centuries plays havoc with a building 
in so exposed a situation as that on which the successive 
Temples have stood, a building in which, moreover, 
a large portion was permanently exposed to the open 
air, without a roof. But the hand of man had done 
it even more damage than the forces of Nature. An- 
tiochus Epiphanes, in the second century B.C., had 
endeavoured to establish in Jerusalem the worship of 
the Greek gods. He had entered presumptuously into 
the sanctuary and taken away the golden altar and 
the candlestick, the cups and bowls, the golden censers, 
and the veil and the crowns. And the adorning of gold 
which was on the face of the Temple he had scaled off. 
The treasures also he had found and taken away to 
his own land. 1 Being of a furious mind, he had 
dragged down with his profane hands the offerings 
that had been dedicated by other Kings to the augmen- 
tation and glory and honour of the place. 2 He left 
nothing splendid at all remaining. 3 Again in the first 
century B.C., just before Herod's time, Pompey had 
committed no small enormities about the Temple by 
entering its holy of holies, though he seems to have 
refrained from pillage of its still existing treasures. 4 
Once more, in 54 B.C., within Herod's own remem- 
brance, Crassus had carried off the treasure that 
Pompey had left. Eleazor, the then guardian of the 
treasures which the Jews ' throughout the habitable 
earth ' had piously contributed, had offered him a 
beam of solid beaten gold on condition that he would 

1 I Mace. i. 20, etc. s 2 Mace. v. II, etc. 

* Ant. xii; 5, 4. * Ant. xiv. 4, 4. 


be content with this. Crassus consented ; the beam 
was packed inside a hollow beam of wood ; and 
Crassus then treacherously carried off both it and all 
the gold that was in the Temple. 1 Finally Herod 
himself, at the time of his enforced accession, and 
during the three years' war, had caused some of the 
cloisters about the Temple to be burnt. 2 

But, despoiled as it was, the chief thing which 
stimulated Herod's ambitious designs was the well- 
known fact— a fact deplored by the original builders 
themselves 3 — that the existing Temple was far less 
magnificent at its best than the foregoing Temple of 
Solomon had been. Herod was in no mind to be con- 
tent with anything less than the glory of Solomon. 
The Temple of his own reign should be at least as large 
and as amply furnished as Solomon's had been. In 
this ambition he hoped, not unreasonably, to have 
the sympathy of his Jewish subjects. He even hoped 
to attract to the Jewish faith many thousands of 
Edomites and men of mixed race — Samaritans and 
others — who were his subjects, and so to create a wider 
basis of national life. Hence one-quarter of the added 
area was designed to be occupied by a court of the 
Gentiles, which came to be known as Solomon's 
Portico, but which, in spite of its name, was never 
grateful to the Jews. 

It must be added, as the cardinal motive, that 
Herod desired for himself a more conspicuous position 
than was provided for him in the existing Temple. 
Of course, he was too much a Jew to claim any such 
thing as admission for himself into the sacred area 
reserved for the priests. On the other hand, he was 

1 Ant. xiv. 7, I. 2 Ant. xvi. 16, 2. 3 Ezra iii. 12. 


too little a Jew by race to claim admission on that 
ground to areas open only to Jews who were actually 
Jews and not mere Idumean proselytes like himself. 
But at all events he was King, and as King he de- 
manded a position of dignity in the Temple. In the 
first Temple, King Solomon had occupied a royal 
oratory with a private approach to it, used only on 
occasions of the King's worship. 1 In the second 
Temple, however, there was no such provision, for the 
simple reason that after the Captivity there was no 
longer a King to provide for, the Prince, in Maccabean 
times, being himself the High Priest, and having, of 
course, the provision proper to his ecclesiastical office. 
Herod therefore determined to restore the royal 
oratory over the Temple porch in the position which 
it had occupied in the first Temple. This part of the 
scheme was the one he made prominent in an address 
which he delivered to the Jews assembled in council. 
He reminded them that the poverty of their forefathers 
had compelled them to build a Temple whose entrance 
porch was lower by sixty cubits than the previous porch 
of Solomon. He very properly pointed out, moreover, 
that their forefathers were not at that time masters 
of the situation, and that it was Cyrus and Darius 
who determined the measures for its rebuilding. But 
he was careful not to mention that the increased height 
which he now proposed was to be used to provide a 
chamber for himself such as Solomon had occupied ; 
nor to say one word about his projected court of the 

Herod's diplomatic speech, faithfully recorded by 
Josephus, seems to have met with no more favourable 

1 Solomorts Temple, 1908, pp. 226-70. 


reception than is usually given to the schemes of 
church restorers in our day. The familiar objections 
were at once raised. The proposal was novel and 
unexpected, the Jews said ; in fact, as we should say, 
uncalled for. The project was, moreover, incredible, 
they argued ; by which argument they meant that it 
was altogether too large to be practicable. Besides, if 
Herod pulled down the whole edifice, what would 
become of the Temple services during the necessarily 
long interval of rebuilding ? Worse still, they might 
find themselves without a Temple at all if Herod for 
any reason should be unable to carry out his scheme. 
And how was he to attempt his scheme without 
bringing Gentile workmen to lay their unhallowed 
hands upon the sacred building ? 

The King was ready with his reply. He would not 
pull down their Temple till all things were gotten ready 
for building it up entirely again. The pulling down and 
the building up should go on simultaneously. He 
would procure the necessary means of transport and 
would have stone in readiness. The most sacred 
portion of the enclosure should be built by priests 
wearing sacerdotal garments. They and the other 
workmen should be thoroughly trained and prepared 
beforehand. Not till everything was well prepared 
for the work would he begin to build. And as he 
promised them this beforehand, so he did not break 
his word with them, Josephus magnanimously tells us. 

It does not appear, however, that the Jews were 
conciliated. On the contrary, we have the spectacle 
of the next generation of people cherishing the most 
abject reverence for Herod's Temple and a most in- 
tense loathing for Herod, who had built it at his own 


expense and by the force of his own masterful genius. 
But this is to anticipate. 

By the year 18 B.C. all was in readiness for the work. 
Two years had been occupied in preparation for it. 
A thousand priests had been taught to be masons and 
carpenters ; and thousands of sacerdotal garments 
had been got ready for them ; ten thousand skilled 
workmen had also been chosen, nine hundred of whom 
had been working in the quarries and forests to procure 
great blocks of stone that were white and strong, and 
timber in abundance ; a thousand wagons had trans- 
ported the necessary new material to the spot, to be 
added to the old material of the existing Temple* which 
was to be used again in the new. 

For the general appearance of the hill on which the 
Temple was built, the British reader who has not seen 
Jerusalem may be referred to the Castle Rock at 
Edinburgh as its nearest ' familiar parallel ; and for 
its height he may conceive the Calton Hill. In each 
case the similarity is but approximate. The height of 
the Temple above the bed of the Kidron Valley be- 
neath it has been variously estimated, and has itself 
varied by reason of the raising of the bed of the valley 
during centuries in which debris from above has been 
accumulating there. The height of the enclosing wall 
at the south-east corner is still 150 feet. Josephus 
declares that if anyone looked down from the top of 
the Temple battlements he would be giddy, while his 
sight could not reach to such an immense depth ; but 
then Josephus had the artistic temperament as well 
as the literary touch. The view from the Calton Hill 
down into the streets will probably be adequate to 
the situation in regard to height, or, better still, the 


view from the Castle down into the street on its south 

The top of the hill at Jerusalem was originally too 
small for the site of the various great buildings which 
have stood upon it. Solomon's workmen (following 
Babylonian and Assyrian precedents) had, according 
to a recent discovery, 1 constructed an enlarged plat- 
form upon foundations built into the rocky sides of 
the crest of the hill. This platform had been further 
enlarged towards the north by the Hasmoneans, and 
Herod now extended the substructions towards the 
west. The huge stones which he employed exist to this 
day on the spot. For the rest, he removed the plat- 
form of the second Temple and proceeded to build 
upon the substructural foundations laid by Solomon. 

A detailed description of the Temple which Herod 
built will be found in the later part of this volume, 
and a more general account of its plan in the chapter 
which immediately follows this. It will suffice to say 
here that all the north-western and more sacred parts 
of the Enclosure were built by men of the priestly 
order. This we know not only from historical docu- 
ments. A striking confirmation of it is found in the 
fact that the recorded measurements of this sacred 
portion are stated in Hebrew cubits, whereas the 
dimensions of the other, or eastern portion, are either 
omitted or stated in Greek measures. 

A word may be said here about the financing of this 
great undertaking, for then, as now, money is the 
ultimate material origin of such things. Herod the 

1 Dr. Sayce has written : " To me the most important, and at the same 
time the most convincing, of the new facts brought before us by Mr. 
Caldecott is that the Temple in Jerusalem stood on an artificial platform." 
Preface to Solomon's Temple, p. v. Second Edition. 


Great's income is estimated at about half a million 
sterling yearly (Ant. xix. 8, 2), the value of bullion 
being then much greater than it is now. For nearly 
twenty years, the workers on the fabric of the Temple 
were paid out of his privy purse. Then came a change. 
Herod's son Archelaus was not appointed " King of 
the Jews," but Ethnarch of half the country only. 
His imperial mandate was to collect the tribute for 
which preparations had been made during the last 
days of his father. This he attempted to do by imi- 
tating the Tudor policy of his father and by repeating 
his severities. But he could not bend the bow of 
Ulysses, and a weak man with a strong policy is ever 
an object of pity and derision. Caesar Augustus bore 
long with him, in spite of repeated complaining appeals 
from Judaea ; but, after a ten years' failure, Archelaus 
was banished to Gaul, where he died at Vienne on the 
Rhone. To his reign belongs the rising under Theudas, 
mentioned by Gamaliel and recorded in Acts v. 36. 
It was now evident that to overcome the pride and 
scruples of Judaea a man of proved ability and large 
experience was requisite. Rome had such a man in 
Publius Sulpicius Quirinus, who had held every public 
office and passed the Consular Chair. Him, with some 
difficulty, Augustus persuaded to accept the office of 
Governor-General of Syria, with residence at Antioch, 
and gave him as pro-Curator of Judaea, Coponius — a 
man of the equestrian order. Quirinus himself came 
to Jerusalem and persuaded the high priest Joazar to 
sanction and recommend the payment of the imperial 
tax. This is what is meant by Luke telling us that 
this taxing was first made (i.e. actually collected) when 
Cyrenius was Governor of Syria, and by Josephus 


telling us that Cyrenius came to assess the estates of 
the Jews {Ant. xx. 5, 2), and that this work was begun 
in the 37th year after Actium, i.e. in the year 6 a.d. 

A good deal is said by the Jewish historian about 
the wealth that Archelaus left behind him. He was 
evidently a very mean man, and did nothing to con- 
ciliate his subjects, as his father had done, by lavish 
gifts and showy extravagance. The Temple revenues 
from the head of the State ceased on the death of 
Herod, and this fact, together with the increasing 
pressure from Rome as to money, so greatly delayed 
the work of construction that it was not completed 
for more than sixty years after Herod's death. Roman 
governors would do nothing to assist it : Pilate, we 
know, forcibly appropriated a portion of the Temple 
treasure for an increased water supply for the city. 
The finishing touches were therefore dependent for 
their financial support upon two such uncertain ele- 
ments as the voluntary gifts of the people in making 
their annual contribution to the Temple, and upon 
the taste and temper of the priestly party then in 


THE ruling idea which governed the structure 
and arrangement of the group of buildings and 
courts known as the last Jewish Temple was twofold. 
It was to provide for the solemn ordering of the 
Mosaic ritual of worship, and it was, further, to pro- 
vide for its frequenters admission through a series of 
carefully graduated barriers. The familiar arrange- 
ment of an English parish church presents a rudi- 
mentary or, rather, an attenuated example of the 
same twofold purpose. The chancel in which the 
Anglican services are conducted is divided by a more 
or less tangible barrier or screen from the transepts 
and nave into which the congregation is admitted. 
But the single barrier in an English church does but 
convey a suggestion of the elaborate system of suc- 
cessive barriers in the Jewish Temple ; and in the 
same way the very slight difficulty which an English 
layman has in gaining admission to the sanctuary of 
his parish church is but the gentlest possible indication 
of the absolute and inflexible rigidity with which the 
successive barriers were guarded in the Temple. 

Beginning from the outside, the series of barriers 
was graduated in accordance with the classification 
which follows : 

i. People of the faith generally, Gentiles as well as 



2. Jewish people, both men and women. 

3. Jewish men. 

4. Jewish priests. 

5. The Jewish High Priest. 

Hence no Gentile might pass beyond the first barrier, 
no woman beyond the second, no layman beyond the 
third, and no priest (except the High Priest) beyond 
the fourth. Not even the High Priest might pass 
the final barrier except on one day in the year. These 
several barriers were defended by the penalty of death 
for the transgressor. The problem which Herod's 
architects had to solve was to plan out the site in 
such fashion as to provide separate courts for these 
five classes, and so to dispose the altar and these 
courts that people in any and all of them might be 
able to witness the sacrificial rites, or at the very least, 
to see the smoke of them ascending. The fact that 
the original bed-rock of the summit of the hill stood 
out above the surrounding platform made the problem 
the easier to solve. The Sakhrah stone was therefore 
once more used as the position for the altar, as it had 
been in the two previous Temples, and steps were 
arranged in various positions so that they might not 
only lead from one court to another, but might also 
afford a sight of the altar to people who stood upon 
or above them. The English reader must, however, 
beware of allowing his familiar conception of the 
altar as the culminating point in his parish church to 
lead him to suppose that the Temple altar was also 
the culminating point of the Temple sanctuary. As a 
matter of fact, the altar, though a part of the Naos, 
was not within the sanctuary buildings at all, but 
stood outside of them, in a position analogous to that 


of the chancel steps in an English church, or, more 
exactly, to that point under the central tower in a 
cathedral at which the transepts cross the nave ; only 
it stood open to the sky. A glance at the plan which 
accompanies this volume will serve to show (for the 
first time, it is believed,) how the buildings were 
finally arranged so as to fulfil their twofold purpose. 

Starting again from the outside, it will be seen that 
the five classes of people described above were located 
and delimited as follows : 

i. The people generally in Solomon's Portico, or 
the common court. 

2. The Jewish people in the Treasury Court. 

3. Jewish men in the Court of Israel. 

4. Jewish priests in the Priests' Court and in the outer 
or eastern chamber of the sanctuary, called the Hekal. 

5. The High Priest in the inner or western chamber 
of the sanctuary, called the Debit. 

There was, however, a third purpose which the 
Temple buildings had to serve, a purpose civil rather 
than ecclesiastical, and based upon the fact that the 
Mosaic legislation, as originally framed, was civil 
and criminal as well as ecclesiastical. Hence, a 
judicial court of two chambers was provided in which 
the greater and the lesser Sanhedrin administered 
justice ; a third and separate chamber was built for 
purposes of enrolment and the custody of records ; 
and still others for the use of lepers and of offerings. 
It is possible also that galleries were erected in the 
Treasury court for the better accommodation of 
women. All this, however, will be described in detail 
later. At present it is only necessary to give a general 
idea of the disposition of the whole structure. 


It should, however, be mentioned here that there 
Was a gradual diminution of light from the outer courts 
onward to the sanctuary. Some of the outer courts 
were open to the sky. Others were well supplied with 
the light of day as porticoes open on one side. But 
the outer court or room of the sanctuary was illumined 
only by a seven-branched candle-stick or lamp-stand ; 
and the inner court, the culmination of the whole 
edifice, was maintained in absolute and unbroken dark- 
ness. The ' dim, religious light/ which even the 
Puritan Milton loved, is, in our churches again, but 
the very faint reminiscence of the ' thick darkness ' 
in which Jehovah had His dwelling-place among the 
Jews (Exod. xx. 21, cited in 1 Kings viii. 12). 

Inasmuch as the New Testament will be our prin- 
cipal document for the history and associations of 
Herod's Temple, it is necessary to make a preliminary 
examination of the terms which it uses in describing 
the structure. In the English versions of the New 
Testament the word ' temple ' stands for two separate 
and distinct Greek words, kpov (hieron) and iWs 
(naos). Fortunately for our understanding of the 
New Testament these two words in the original are 
never regarded by the writers as synonyms, nor in 
any case are they used interchangeably. The same 
distinction is maintained by Josephus, and it existed 
and was acknowledged in other Greek writers with 
reference to heathen temples. Each of the words de- 
scribes a distinct and different portion of a temple 
from that described by the other. It is therefore much 
to be regretted that even the Revised Version of the 
English New Testament shows a little hesitation to 


recognize the distinction. It does, indeed, invariably 
translate the Greek word hieron by the English word 
' temple ' ; but it also allows the word ' temple ' to 
stand in the text to represent the other Greek word 
naos in several instances. The careful reader of the 
Revised Version should observe that wherever the 
Greek word hieron occurs it is translated ' temple,' 
without any marginal note ; and that wherever the 
Greek word naos occurs it is (either in the text or in 
the margin) translated ' sanctuary.' That is a rule 
which will bring the English reader sufficiently into 
touch with the Greek for our present purpose. In the 
Apocalypse it must be observed that the Revisers make 
their marginal note once for all at chapter iii. verse 12, 
giving to the word its highest sense. 

The word hieron in the New Testament stands 
certainly for all parts of the structure except the 
sanctuary, and at times possibly includes the sanctuary 
itself. The word naos never stands for any part of 
the Temple but the sanctuary, i.e. the priestly court 
and its buildings. This is a rule of very great im- 
portance to the student. Stated generally it may be 
repeated thus : Whenever in the Revised Version 
mention is made of Herod's Temple, and the word 
' temple ' is used without a marginal variation, we 
are to understand that what is meant is certainly the 
buildings about the sanctuary and possibly the whole 
of the buildings, the sanctuary included ; but when- 
ever the word ' sanctuary' is used, or the word 'temple' 
is used with the marginal variant ' sanctuary,' then 
only the sanctuary is spoken of, and never the sur- 
rounding buildings. Further, it must always be 
kept in mind that the Naos or sanctuary includes only 


the courts numbered four and five in the foregoing 
table and never the courts numbered one, two, and 
three, nor any of the judicial and other chambers. 

The rule would be the simpler if we could say with 
confidence that the term Heron never included what 
is termed the Naos, just as the term naos never in- 
cludes any portion of the Hieron. But there are 
scholars who doubt whether this simplification would 
be warranted. Fortunately this is not a matter of 
any practical importance for the understanding of the 
New Testament documents ; and no one will be in 
danger of being led astray if he chooses to simplify 
the rule and to regard the term hieron as meaning 
only those parts of the Temple which are not the 
sanctuary. Indeed, the whole trend of the New 
Testament use of the term is certainly in the direction 
of the simplification, and it will be adopted henceforth 
in this volume. 

It will now be evident that the Hieron of the Temple 
was no more the Naos than the cloisters of an English 
cathedral are the church, or than the chapter-house 
is the sanctuary. In the New Testament the following 
are specifically mentioned as portions of the Hieron : 
the place or places where Jesus habitually walked and 
taught ; the place where oxen, sheep, and doves were 
sold for the sacrifices ; the Treasury ; the o-rod or 
Portico of Solomon, that is, the court of the Gentiles 
(always referred to in this volume as Solomon's 
Portico in order to distinguish it from the quite 
different Solomon's Porch in the first Temple) ; the 
gate called Beautiful ; the chest (yaio<pv\aiaov) or 
chests in which contributions were deposited for the 
sacred treasures ; and a certain pinnacle or detached 


wing or building, which may have been the south-east 
angle of the structure, overlooking the deep valley 
below. None of these places or portions of the Temple 
was in any sense the Naos or any portion of it, the 
eastern line of which was marked by a low soreg or 
wall of partition, of about one cubit in height, that 
stood above the steps on either side of the altar (War 
v. 5, § 6). 

The Hieron is never mentioned in the New Testa- 
ment except in the four Gospels and the Acts. The 
sole exception to this statement is the passage (1 Cor. 
ix. 13) where St. Paul says that ' they which minister 
about sacred things eat of the things of the hieron.' 
This testimony is conclusive as to the feasting portions 
of the Temple standing apart from the holy chambers. 
So also is the topography of one of our Lord's parables 
conclusive as to the place of individual prayer in the 
Temple : two men went up into the Hieron to pray ; 
the low soreg dividing the two courts for worship, 
namely that of priests and that of laity, the use of the 
word shows that the Pharisee who went up to the 
Temple was a layman and not a priest. The word 
hieron further occurs in Acts xix. to describe the 
Temple of Diana at Ephesus, and in the same chapter 
the word naos is used to describe the silver shrines of 
Diana, which were small models of the goddess and 
temple, the making of which brought no little business 
unto the Ephesian craftsmen. 

The word naos is distributed throughout the New 
Testament generally. It is Used in a metaphorical as 
well as a literal sense, whereas the word hieron is used 
in the literal sense only. Naos, in its literal sense, 
occurs to describe the space between the holy chambers 


and the altar which was separate from them ; to 
define the object by which men swore ; to locate the 
veil which separated its two chambers ; to indicate 
the place in which Zacharias, a priest, executed his 
office ; to specify the place which was forty-and-six««. 
years in building ; and to name the place of the pave- 
ment on to which Judas threw the pieces of silver. In 
its metaphorical sense it is used of the body of Jesus ; 
of the bodies of Christian disciples ; of the church or 
the whole body of disciples ; of the usurpation by the 
' man of sin ' ; and of the Apocalyptic vision. 

Our Lord, not being of the priestly order, never 
entered the Naos. Herod also, and for the same reason, 
never entered it. When Josephus tells us that Herod 
was excluded therefrom because he was not a priest, 
he tells us the truth, but not the whole truth. The 
fact is that Herod was not only not a priest, but, 
moreover, he was not strictly even a Jew, and therefore 
he could not proceed beyond the Court of the Gentiles, 
which was known as Solomon's Portico. It may be 
that it was by reason of this limitation that Herod 
caused that court to be of grand proportions and 
splendid architecture. If he could go no further than 
that court, he would at least make that court such 
as befitted so splendid a person as himself. It is true 
that he also designed a royal chamber for himself, but 
even this was no part of, though within, the Naos ; 
and he occupied it not as a Jew, but as King of the 
Jews, and a successor of David. 

The case of Judas demands special notice. Arch- 
bishop Trench, in his admirable work on The Synonyms 
of the New Testament, stoutly maintains that Judas, 
in his despair and defiance, actually pressed into the 


Naos itself and there cast down before the priests the 
accursed price of blood (Matt, xxvii. 5). Had such 
a thing occurred it would have been held by the Jews 
to be infinitely more wicked than his original offence, 
and he would never have been allowed to go away and 
hang himself, but would have been put to death at 
their own hands. Moreover, it is inconceivable that 
Judas would have been allowed to step over the low 
railing of a cubit high into an enclosure so carefully 
guarded. And, as a matter of fact, the evangelist 
does not say that he did any such thing. Possibly he 
attempted to do it, but, being baffled in his mad pur- 
pose, he only succeeded in throwing the coins over the 
wooden spikes into the Naos floor below. Trench has 
apparently accepted a reading of the text which is 
discarded unanimously by the greater textual critics, 
Tischendorf, Tregelles, Weiss, Westcott and Hort, 
and the Revisers. It is not eV rS> va£>, but ek rov 
vahv, not " in the Naos," but " into the Naos," that 
the money was cast down. The impossible reading 
certainly occurs in two of the great MSS., but it is 
impossible all the same. It arose probably as a more 
natural adjunct to the verb ; but a more difficult 
reading is always to be preferred to an easier one. 

These two Greek topographical terms, then, are 
used with singular precision and consistency in the 
New Testament. The only variation from them occurs 
in Luke xi. 51, where the term ohos, house, is used in 
place of the term naos which occurs in the parallel 
passage in St. Matthew. The beloved physician was 
probably a Gentile. 


THE story of a Temple which, though eighty years 
or more in building to its last finial, only re- 
mained in existence for five or six years after its com- 
pletion, must needs be briefer and less varied than the 
story of its predecessor which stood for nearly five 
centuries, and was contemporaneous with the rise and 
fall of empires. But what Herod's Temple loses in 
mere duration it more than gains in importance ; for 
its frequenters witnessed, and it was itself in part the 
scene of, the rise of Christianity itself. Three moment- 
ous years in the annals of this Temple have changed 
the course of history for all the centuries to follow. 

Our authorities for the history of this period in 
Jerusalem are mainly, indeed almost exclusively, two 
— the New Testament and Josephus. To the Christian 
reader of to-day it must needs seem strange and un- 
accountable that Josephus, a historian of this period, 
should record little or nothing about Jesus and nothing 
whatever about Paul. The reader must therefore 
force himself to recognize and remember that however 
supremely important the beginnings of Christianity 
really were, they certainly were not recognized so to be 
by either the Jews or the Romans of contemporary 
times. Even so late as the end of the period covered 



by the Acts of the Apostles there were Jews, and 
plenty of them, who knew Christianity only as ' this 
sect,' and that it was everywhere spoken against. As 
for the Romans, they disdained the poor province of 
the Jews, and so the affairs of a Jewish ' sect,' de- 
spised by even the Jews themselves, would naturally 
be for them beneath contempt, as the case of Gallio 
shows. Now Josephus was both a Jew and a parasite 
of Rome, and though he wrote his histories towards the 
end of the first century a.d., he would still, even then, 
have been scouted by the people for whom he wrote 
if he had so much as suggested that Jesus and the 
Apostles were worthy of even the smallest note. He 
did not himself believe the Christian story, and it is 
possible, but improbable, that the sole passage in 
which Jesus is alluded to in his works is an interpola- 
tion. Even if he had thought the rise of Christianity 
important enough to be recorded, he would still have 
hesitated to remind his Roman patrons that it was 
a Roman governor who had crucified Jesus. Nero's 
persecution of the Christians had filled even the callous 
Roman world with horror at the time, and Nero was 
dead before Josephus wrote. Sir William Ramsay 
has shown that, though modified in various degrees 
according to the personal disposition of the man, the 
principle of persecuting the Christians as atheists and 
rebels was retained by the three Flavii throughout 
the life of Josephus and after. He, moreover, was in 
the habit of allowing Titus to read and approve his 
works before giving them to the world (Life of Josephus, 
65). Hence it is that we look in vain to find in Jose- 
phus anything more than side-lights on what is really 
the essential element in the history of the period. It 


is interesting to note further that Josephus, in his 
history of the Old Testament times, had omitted all 
that has reference to the Messiah, imagining, no doubt, 
either that this matter would have no interest for his 
readers, or else that in the circumstances of his time 
it would have been dangerous to allude to it. 

But little as Josephus is an authority for the Chris- 
tian history, he is almost the sole authority for the 
history of the Jews as a whole during this period. 
From him we learn that, at the time of the birth of 
Herod, the Jews were in process of losing the inde- 
pendence which they had acquired during the Macca- 
bean times. The Roman commonwealth had begun 
the policy of attempting to repair its internal decay by 
acquiring fresh territory to add as fields of plunder 
to the Empire. Palestine naturally presented itself 
to Rome as desirable in that sense ; and the Jews 
had unwittingly aided Rome by internal strife between 
the Pharisees and the Sadducees. In the time of John 
Hyrcanus (135-105 B.C.) the Sadducees, being a politi- 
cal party, determined to uphold the State rather than 
the religion of the Jews, the Pharisees, on the other 
hand, caring more for religion than for the State. 
Judas Aristobulus (105-104 B.C.), the son and successor 
of John Hyrcanus in the High-Priesthood, which 
carried with it a sort of Maccabean monarchy, followed 
his father's example in leaning towards the Sadducees 
rather than towards the Pharisees. His successor and 
brother, Alexander Jannseus (104-78 B.C.), however, 
from weakness rather than intention, allowed the 
Pharisees to gain the upper hand, though they had no 
respect at all for him, but distinctly the reverse. 
They headed a revolt against him, and for six years 


Judaea was the scene of a sanguinary civil war in which 
fifty thousand Jews were slain at the hands of their 
own countrymen. The Pharisaic party further enlisted 
against him the help of their old enemies the Syrians, 
but only succeeded thereby in turning the sympathy 
of a large number of the Jews back again towards 
Alexander, who was, at all events, one of their own 
race. So the Maccabean Alexander when at length 
he died was still the ruler of his nation, and was 
succeeded by his widow, Salome Alexandra (78-69 
B.C.), in the monarchy, and by his eldest son, Hyrcanus 
II, in the High-Priesthood, Alexandra had been 
advised by her late husband to put some of her au- 
thority into the hands of the Pharisees, and not to 
depend wholly on one party in the State. At all events, 
the Sadducees, during her reign, organized something 
like a revolt under her second son, Aristobulus, and 
succeeded in regaining power. Under Aristobulus 
(69-63 B.C.) the civil strife continued unabated, and it 
was in his time that the Romans at last stepped in and 
gained Palestine for the Empire. A certain conclusion 
is that the deadly strife between the Pharisees and the 
Sadducees with which the reader of the New Testament 
is familiar was the ultimate cause of putting the 
Jewish State under the heel of Rome. 

Antipater, the father of Herod, was at this time 
Prince of the neighbouring province of Idumea, whose 
people were descended from Esau, and who were 
further connected with Judsea in having been impelled 
by John Hyrcanus to adopt the badge of Judaism. 
This Antipater had rendered some service to the 
Romans, and so the first of the Caesars now made him 
the first of a long list of procurators of Judaea, and 


placed the real power over Judaea in his hands. It is 
possible that Julius Caesar was so ignorant of Jewish 
history as to imagine that a man of consanguineous 
race would be more acceptable to the Jews than a ruler 
of Roman descent, for there is no doubt that the 
Emperor was favourably disposed towards his new 
subjects. Antipater did indeed begin his rule by 
raising up again parts of the wall of Jerusalem which 
had been broken down during the recent Roman 
assault upon it under Pompey, and by pacifying the 
tumult which had been in the country. His son 
Phasael, whom he appointed to be governor of Jeru- 
salem, also secured the good will of the inhabitants of 
the city and managed matters so well that Antipater 
received from the nation such respect as is due to 
kings. But this pleasing state of things soon came 
to an end. The principal men among the Jews began 
to suspect that Antipater and his sons were too well- 
disposed towards the Romans and appropriated too 
much Jewish revenue for themselves, and it was at 
this time that Herod, now governor of Galilee, under- 
went the ridiculous prosecution before the Sanhedrin, 
which has already been described. The Jews now 
gradually determined that they would never tolerate 
an Edomite ruler. Their common nickname for Herod 
the Great was ' The Slave.' 

Nevertheless, it must be admitted that the Roman 
overlordship in Palestine was not less beneficent in 
intention than it proved to be in fact in Britain, which 
began to be occupied by the Romans at a slightly 
later time. If the results of it in Palestine were 
less admirable than they came to be in Britain, the 
blame must be laid upon the Jews themselves. The 


Roman policy was much the same in both cases, but 
the Jews were not disposed to welcome it and turn it 
to advantage as the British people did. England, to 
this very day, is the better for the Roman occupation, 
but the Jewish attitude of resentment towards the 
Romans resulted in the occupants leaving Palestine 
altogether. That the extension of the Roman Empire 
did nevertheless prepare the way for Christianity is, 
of course, another story altogether. 

In the year 43 b.c. Antipater was treacherously 
poisoned by Malichus, a Jewish commander, whom 
Herod in turn proceeded to slay by way of revenge 
for his murdered father. Rome, two years later, 
advanced Herod to the rank of tetrarch, and shortly 
afterwards to be King of Judsea (40 b.c), in spite of 
the determined opposition of the Jews towards him 
and his dynasty. 

Thus we come within sight of the period with which 
the present history is especially concerned. The 
Pharisees by this time had withdrawn themselves 
altogether from public affairs, and we shall henceforth 
meet with them as an ecclesiastical rather than as a 
political party. Nevertheless, they comprised the best 
part of the nation, and cannot rightly be regarded as 
merely a sect . They were, in fact, the educated portion 
of the people — pious, learned, and truly national. 
They were the recognized expositors of the law and 
directors of religion. Their virtuous conduct was 
proverbial, though the self-righteous spirit of the order 
and their general principles of action were denounced 
by Jesus. They were scrupulously exact in their 
observance of national religious ordinances, upheld 
belief in the divine disposal of human affairs, taught 


the doctrine of the immortality of the soul and of 
future rewards and penalties, and were, in fact, 
the conscience of the nation. With them were allied 
the profession of the Scribes, many of whom were 

The Essenes were a small fraternity of ultra-Phari- 
sees. They were the only Jewish party who did not 
come under some rebuke of our Lord. Their life was 
spent in mystic contemplation and prayer, and they 
were conspicuously virtuous. They rejected all 
pleasures, lived for the most part in celibacy, and 
practised extreme Levitical purism. They believed 
in the divine ordering of events, here and hereafter. 
Their attitude towards pain seems to have been iden- 
tical with that of the Buddhists. They were com- 
munistic as to property, and took ' mine is thine and 
thine is mine ' as a formula for the regulation of their 
social life. Being thus necessarily isolated from the 
rest of the nation, they could not engage in trade or 
commerce, and supported themselves exclusively by 
agriculture. They were among the Jews what the 
early disciples of St. Francis of Assisi afterwards were 
among the Christians. In the end some of them 
became Christians. They were early expelled from 
the common court of the Temple, otherwise open to 
all (Ant. xviii. i, 5). 

The Sadducees were at the opposite pole of national 
life and thought from the Essenes. It is not clear 
what Josephus, himself a Pharisee, means when he 
calls them wild and barbarous. There were no doubt 
bad members of the party, as there were of the Phari- 
sees. Some New Testament passages are our sufficient 
warrant for that. And they made no pretence to be 


other than worldly and political. They were as lax in 
the matter of religious ordinances as the Essenes were 
strict. Tradition was of no account with them. Re- 
ligion, they said, had nothing to do with the State ; 
the two were separate and different things. Human 
affairs in general were independent of divine control 
in this life ; and there was no other life than this ; 
the soul would die with the body ; and there was 
neither angel nor spirit. Yet this secularist party 
numbered among its members many aristocratic and 
even priestly families. To it both Annas and Caiaphas 

These parties in the nation, or at all events two of 
them, will be met with continually in and about the 
Temple. The Temple was for all of them, though with 
varying degrees of attachment, the visible centre and 
focus of national religion and life. Even out of remote 
places a vast number of pilgrim Jews were in the habit 
of coming up to Jerusalem to attend the great annual 
festivals, as we are told in a familiar passage at the 
beginning of the Acts of the Apostles. Josephus affirms 
that there were more than twenty thousand priests on 
duty by turns in the Temple, but, as he also affirms that 
nearly two and three-quarter millions of people were 
to be found in Jerusalem at the great festivals, we are 
bound to use caution in accepting his numbers. At 
any rate, the number of clerics must have been suffi- 
ciently imposing. Besides the priests, there were a 
large number of Levites, whose duty it was to guard 
the treasures of the Temple, to act as cooks and 
scavengers, and to perform sentry duty at its various 
entrances. They constituted a sort of ecclesiastical 
police force under the command of the Captain of the 


Temple. We shall meet with them in the arrest 
Jesus and at other times. 

The essential act of worship in the Temple w 
sacrifice. Sacrifices were of two kinds : one in whi< 
blood was shed and the other which was offerings wit! 
out bloodshed. These latter, however, were subsidiai 
and subordinate to the former. There was a dai 
sacrifice, both morning and evening, of a lamb. Tl 
morning sacrifice was at break of day, ' when the si 
was lit up as far as Hebron ' (so we read in the Talmud 
that is, when the hills about the city had becon 
plainly visible in the dawning light. At this momei 
the blast of a silver trumpet resounded through tl 
city and its surrounding country to call the faithfi 
to worship. The evening sacrifice was at three in tl 
afternoon. ' All the congregation worshipped, an 
the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded ... an 
all the people bowed themselves and worshipped.' 
At the great annual commemoration of the Passover tl 
Temple courts must have run with a welter of blood- 
little in accordance with Christian ideas of worship 
but arrangements were made for its seemly conveyanc 
to the brook Kidron below, whose waters were at tim< 
reddened by it in its course below the Temple hill. 

In addition to the Temple services there was worshi 
in the Synagogues. Edersheim taxes our credulity i 
telling us that there were as many as 480 Synagogue: 
great and small, in Jerusalem alone at this time. Or 
of them was actually within the outer circle of tr. 
Hieron itself. The main object of the Synagogue W£ 
the teaching of the people, though the liturgical elemer 
was never quite wanting. The Synagogue building 

1 2 Chron. xxix. 28, 29. 


had colonnades more or less adorned with carvings, 
and were arranged internally upon the plan of the 
Tabernacle and the successive Temples. Every 
Synagogue was open for service at least three times 
a week. It was the Synagogue which, after the final 
disappearance of the Temple, served to perpetuate the 
Jewish worship, and which indeed became the model 
of the earliest Christian churches. 

Such, in bald outline, was the historical situation in 
Jerusalem during the rebuilding of the Temple. The 
work was so arranged that probably at no time was 
there a serious break in the continuity of the Temple 
services, or of the life and movement which concen- 
trated itself upon the Temple courts. Through all the 
years in which Roman officers and soldiers paraded the 
streets of the city or mounted guard upon its walls, 
the Jewish people thronged the Temple courts from 
sunrise to the closing of its gates, as men now gather 
in the market or on 'Change in an English town. Jew 
and Gentile jostled each other in the Portico of Solo- 
mon ; traffickers in oxen and doves for sacrifice pushed 
their trade there throughout the day ; Pharisees and 
Sadducees plied their arguments in the Court of the 
Women ; the steps were thronged with people eager 
to witness the sacrifices ; here and there a publican 
called for mercy in his penitence, a widow dropped 
her offering into the treasury, a leper came to pay his 
dues, a peasant family from the provinces sought 
enrolment in a minor court ; accused persons were 
brought in for trial in the Court of the Sanhedrin ; and 
amidst all the movement Jesus himself from day to 
day sat and talked with His disciples, or sought to 
convince the Pharisees, or bowed His head in reverence 


during the offering of the sacrifices. And above all fc 
busy scene there rang out at intervals the sound 
trumpets and the song of the worshippers, while t] 
smoke of incense and of burnt offering rose gently fro 
the sanctuary and spread itself into a cloud above tl 
Temple in the sight of all the city. 


BY the year 15 b.c. Herod was ready to begin his 
great rebuilding. His materials were at hand, 
his architectural plans were matured, his workmen had 
been trained. The Rabbis believed, or at all events 
taught, that the Temple was one of seven things that 
had existed before the world, and there were at this 
time many Jews who believed as well as taught that 
when Messiah came he would build a far more splendid 
Temple than the one then in existence. 1 Herod was 
a very poor substitute for the Messiah, but he certainly 
aimed at the least possible violation of Jewish ideals 
and prejudices. Hence among his workmen he had 
trained a thousand priests whose hands alone were to 
touch the Naos. Their part of the work was the earliest 
to be undertaken, and it is no doubt this is the work 
to which Josephus refers when he says that it was com- 
pleted in a year and six months. Just as the walls of 
Jerusalem had been built by workmen who had swords 
as well as trowels in their hands and were almost as 
much soldiers as builders, so now Herod's priestly 
workmen wore sacerdotal garments while they used 
their trowels, and were engaged in an ecclesiastical 
function rather than a mere work of masonry. 
These priestly masons would present a striking 

1 Targum,/«. 53, 5, and elsewhere. 


appearance. They would no doubt be arrayed in the 
garments prescribed in the Old Testament .ritual : a 
white tunic of linen, closely fitting and reaching down 
to the feet, with sleeves closely fitting to the arms, 
supported by a woven girdle, or cincture, four fingers 
broad, also of linen. This girdle was wound several 
times round the body at the waist and tied there, the 
loose ends with their fringes being still long enough 
to reach to the ankles, ' in the most agreeable manner 
to the spectators.' When spectacular effects had to 
be subordinated to the convenience of working, the 
long loose ends were thrown over the priest's left 
shoulder and so hung down behind him instead of in 
front of him. Certain strings fastened about each 
shoulder held it permanently in position, whether the 
wearer were at work or at rest. Upon his head the 
priest wore a turban-like head-dress of linen, swathed 
many times, and sewed together into a sort of cap 
for the back part of the head. This was supplemented 
by a piece of covering linen reaching from the top of 
the turban downward to the forehead. The whole 
was firmly fixed down to the head so as to adhere 
closely, without danger of falling off while the priest 
was engaged with his work. To Western eyes the 
entire outfit was designed ' for beauty and for glory ' 
rather than for convenience. 

In the East, where turbans are more difficult to 
remove than shoes, it has always been and still is 
customary to uncover the feet rather than the head 
upon entering a sacred place. Thus both Moses and 
Joshua were, upon occasion, directed to put off their 
shoes from off their feet when the place whereon they 
were standing was holy ground. It may be assumed 


therefore that the priests were barefooted while 
engaged in building, as they were when on official 
duty. This assumption is strengthened by the fact 
that no covering for the feet is described or mentioned 
among the details of the sacerdotal dress, and it is 
confirmed still further by the significant fact that, 
among the Temple officials, there was a medical man 
whose duty it was to minister to the ailments of the 
priests, ailments which their feet were specially 
liable to. 1 

Iron tools were specially avoided within the building- 
area occupied by the Naos. The stones of which its 
walls and pavements were laid were all cut and squared 
before leaving the quarries. These quarries are one 
of the most remarkable objects of interest in modern 
Jerusalem. They run for a considerable extent under 
Antonia and the northern parts of the city, westwards 
of the Temple. The thousand wagons provided by 
Herod that were to bring stone for the building were 
used in transporting the huge blocks the short distance 
from the quarries to the Temple site, there being a 
subterranean entrance for them to the ground of the 
Temple. When there, no mortar or cement was used 
in their composition, as none was used in the walls of 
Moriah, still standing. In this way the stones for the 
huge Temple platform were noiselessly placed, and the 
walls above it and around it rose in comparative 
silence (Ant. xv. 11, 2). 

Nor in procuring stones for the altar from the virgin 
soil was any scratch of an iron tool permitted, but 
whole stones were found upon which iron had not been 
lifted. Iron was held to defile everything it touched. 

1 Udeisheim, JewisA Social Life, p. 164. 


' Iron is created to shorten the days of man, and the 
altar is created to lengthen the days of man, therefore 
it is not right that that which shortens should be lifted 
upon that which lengthens.' x 

Within the Naos, the most important piece of artistic 
workmanship was the veil which separated the smaller 
inner chamber from the larger one to the east of it. 
The undoubted existence of this veil in Herod's Naos 
helps to confirm the belief that a similar veil existed 
in the previous structures, of which this was a repro- 
duction. It is true that the Old Testament is almost, 
though not quite, 2 silent about this veil, but it is also 
true that the argument from silence is always pre- 
carious. The veil in the New Testament Naos is, 
however, abundantly attested, being that which was 
rent at the moment of death (Matt, xxvii. 51). Josephus 
does not describe it. We may assume that he never 
saw it, for, though of priestly descent, he does not 
appear to have exercised the highest of priestly 
functions. We are therefore thrown back upon the 
Mishna 3 for the information that it ' was an hand- 
breadth thick, and woven of seventy-two twist 
plaits ; each plait consisted of twenty-four threads. 
Two of these veils were made every year, and it took 
three hundred priests to immerse one.' 4 The Talmud 
adds that of the twenty-four threads six were of each 
of the Temple colours : white, scarlet, blue, and gold. 
The Sultan is but carrying on the traditions of the 
Temple when he sends yearly a sacred carpet to lie 

J Middoth iii. 4, a law based on Exodus xxvi. 25. 

2 2 Chron. iii. 14. 3 Shek. viii. 5. 

4 Another passage in the Mishna (Yoma v. 1) describes the inner 
veil as double, with a cubit's free space between, one fastened to the north 
wall and another to the south. This would allow the High Priest to enter 
without at the same time admitting light into the Holy of Holies. 


on the floor of the present House of the Dome, or 
Noble Sanctuary in Jerusalem. 

The second of two veils mentioned in the Mishna 
refers to an outer curtain which Josephus describes 
and which he may have seen, for he says its position 
was ' before the doors ' of the Naos, a phrase which 
could hardly describe any other position than the 
outside of its- easternmost entrance. This outer curtain 
he describes as Babylonian in style, i.e. the same on both 
sides, embroidered with the same four colours as the 
inner veil (the white being linen) , and of a contexture that 
was truly wonderful. He has, moreover, some fanciful 
interpretation of its embroidery 1 which it is not neces- 
sary to quote here. The seven-branched candlestick, 
the table for shewbread, the altar of incense, and the 
other scanty furniture of the Eastern Chamber complete 
the description of the Naos ; for in the inner and most 
holy place there was nothing at all except a stone on 
which the atonement blood was sprinkled. We have 
Pompey's evidence for this. 

However short may have been the time occupied 
in rebuilding the Naos, there must have been the 
necessity for some special and temporary provision 
for the continuation of the Temple services during the 
rebuilding. Of this we have no record. It would 
apparently be taken for granted ; and, moreover, our 
principal historian of the period was not then born, 
and it may be did not know what provision was made. 
What we are told is that this part of the work was 
complete in the comparatively short time before 
mentioned, the Great Altar itself being replaced in a 
few days or weeks. 

1 War v. S, 4. 


Nor are we told very much about the rededication. 
All the people were full of joy, we are told, and they 
presently returned thanks, in the first place to God, 
and in the next place to the King for the alacrity he 
had shown. So they feasted and celebrated the re- 
building of the Temple proper. The fact that no special 
priestly function in the Naos is reported on this occasion 
strengthens the conjecture that these functions had 
hardly been suspended. There were special sacrifices 
at the altar, however. Herod sacrificed three hundred 
oxen, the flesh of which would be eaten by the assem- 
bled thousands, as free-will or peace-offerings to God. 

The later day of the rededication of the whole 
compound structure coincided with the day of Herod's 
' inauguration,' a coincidence which no doubt was 
not undesigned, and so the festival was the more 
illustrious. But what about the royal apartment ? 
Surely the King would occupy it on a day like this ? 
There is no hint of it. The picturesque historian, 
always hostile to Herod, says no word of it whatever. 
When he wrote, Herod was still too unpopular, and 
Josephus could not forget that he was a priest, and a 
priest of a Maccabean family, whose last royal represen- 
tative had been murdered by Herod. 

The rebuilding of the Hieron went on much more 
slowly than that of the Naos had done. Certainly it 
was a much larger undertaking, but on the other hand 
the lay workmen were nine or ten times the number 
of the priestly workmen. Herod's alacrity here seems 
to have suffered some hindrance or abatement. There 
could have been no difficulty in obtaining the required 
number of workmen for this larger undertaking. 
Even if no Gentiles had been employed, we know that 


the Jews themselves held very wholesome views about 
the dignity of labour, and especially of such labour as 
this. They knew quite well that to labour in the sweat 
of the brow was no part of the primeval curse, but 
rather its mitigation. ' Whoever does not teach his 
son a trade is as if he brought him up to be a robber ' 
is a familiar saying of the Rabbis which is much more 
true to the best traditions of the nation, from the time 
of Moses onward, than most of their sayings are. And 
the Rabbis lived up to their teaching in this particular. 
Hillel was a woodcutter, Shammai a carpenter, and 
every variety of trade was represented in their ranks. 
It is hardly necessary to do more than refer, in this 
connection, to the example of the Carpenter of Nazareth 
and His disciples, and to the repeated teaching and 
consistent practice of St. Paul. 

It is possible that the Jewish hatred of the Edomite 
Herod so strongly modified their regard for the Temple 
that, the Naos once complete, they were in no hurry 
to accelerate the building of the Hieron with its huge 
and unprecedented allotment of space to a Court of 
the Gentiles. It was in vain that Herod had burned 
the documents which showed his genealogical descent 
from Edom, that he strove to show his descent from 
a distinguished family of Babylonian Jews, and that he 
directed Nicolaus of Damascus to draw up this pedi- 
gree for him ; the document which really counted was 
the certain knowledge which the Jews had that, 
pedigree or no pedigree, Herod was a vulgar Edomite 
of no family at all. They had no objection, but quite 
the reverse, to the restoration of the Temple to its 
former glory, but it was not by any means the expected 
Messiah who was directing the work for them, and 


they were strongly convinced that the Messiah would 
not have planned a portico for the Gentiles of huge 
dimensions and conspicuous splendour, nor would he 
have added insult to this injury by giving to it the 
name of Solomon. So if the workmen lagged they 
were not without some justification for their lack of 

It is not certain, moreover, that the workmen's 
wages were always paid promptly. The vast sums 
which Herod spent upon his buildings, both within 
and without his kingdom, were at times in advance 
of even the immense income which he is known to have 
received. A gruesome story in this connection belongs 
to the period of the building of the Hieron. It was 
known to Herod that Hyrcanus had upon occasion 
opened David's sepulchre and taken out of it three 
thousand talents of silver, and that there was a much 
larger sum left behind, enough indeed to suffice all his 
wants. He had for a great while allowed himself to 
harbour the intention to follow the example of Hyr- 
canus, and at last, accompanied by a few faithful 
friends, he opened that sepulchre one night and went 
into it, and hoped that the darkness would cover his 
deed so that it should not be known at all in the city. 
As for money, he found none, but found many orna- 
ments of gold and precious goods that were laid up 
there ; all which he took away. However, he had a 
great desire to make a more diligent search, and to go 
further in, even as far as the very bodies of David and 
Solomon, when two of his guards were slain by a flame 
that burst out upon those that went in, as the report 
was. So he was terribly affrighted, and went out, and 
built a propitiatory monument of that act, and this 


of white stone at the mouth of the sepulchre, and that 
at great expense also. However much or little of truth 
there may have been in the story, it was one that was 
likely enough to be believed ; and wages suspected to 
be from such a source would not conduce to enthu- 
siastic industry on the part of Jewish workmen. 

Within ten years from the commencement of the 
wor,k the outer buildings were so far advanced as to 
be ready for religious rites. By this statement we are 
no doubt to understand that the parts about the fro- 
Naos, including the altar, had long been reconstructed, 
and that such portions of the Hieron courts as were 
absolutely necessary for the worshippers and spectators 
were now ready for occupation. Henceforth we have 
no precise chronological notes of sequence in the 
building operations. The work went slowly on through 
two more generations, with intervals, doubtless, of 
months or even years in which it was to a more or less 
extent suspended. When a portion of the Hieron is 
mentioned in connection with events in the earlier 
part of the period we are now about to enter, we can 
never be quite sure whether it is the completed or the 
incomplete, or a stage of transition between them, 
which is implied. 

It is sufficiently evident, nevertheless, that Solomon's 
Portico was well advanced during the life of Herod. 
In support of this we have not only the a priori con- 
jecture that the King would. naturally press onward 
his own favourite portion of the scheme, but we 
have, further, a piece of definite history. It seems 
that, not long before his death, Herod had erected, 
over the great gate of the Temple, a large golden eagle, 
of great value, and had dedicated it to the Temple! 


This ' great gate ' would no doubt be the eastern 
entrance to the Portico, the New Testament ' Beau- 
tiful Gate ' ; and it is reasonable to infer that if the 
gate was far enough advanced for this final decoration, 
the whole structure of the Portico could not have been 
far from complete. The same argument mutatis 
mutandis applies to the Temple precincts about the 
Treasury, where Agrippa I hung a golden chain of the 
same weight as the iron one which as a prisoner he had 
worn at Rome (Ant. xix. 6, i). 

But Herod's eagle came to a disastrous end. The 
Jewish law had always forbidden images of any living 
creature that was in the heavens above or the earth 
beneath or the waters under the earth, and the Jews 
of Jerusalem were very bitter against this eagle of 
the heavens above. It was not so much the position 
of the creature that irritated them ; for they were 
loath to regard the Portico as a portion of the sacred 
enclosure at all. It was simply the image, per se, that 
they could not away with. In addition to which it 
was the emblem of Rome and of Roman domination. 

Some years before this time Herod had set up in one 
of his theatres certain trophies of armour which the 
Jews imagined must necessarily contain a human image 
to support them. When they made a disturbance 
thereupon, Herod had them into the theatre, caused 
the armour to be removed, and discovered mere wooden 
pegs beneath. Solvebantur risu tabula. But the eagle 
was not to be disposed of in any such hilarious fashion. 
When Herod was afflicted with a great distemper and 
the rumour was that he was dying, two learned Rabbis 
and a following of eager young Jews let themselves 
down from the top of the gateway (the eagle must have 


been immediately over the door) and, in the face of 
the midday sun, cut down that eagle with axes. 
Herod's indignation overcame for the moment his 
disease ; he had the culprits brought before him at 
Jericho, and even went out and spoke to the people, 
making a terrible accusation about these men on the 
score of ingratitude and sacrilege. Finally he had 
forty of these young men and the two Rabbis burnt 
alive before the people's eyes. ' And that, very night 
there was an eclipse of the moon,' which fixes the 
date as the 12th of March, 4 b.c. Eighteen days after- 
wards Herod himself was dead. 


WE are now about to mingle with the Jewish 
people of New Testament times, and with them 
to wander about the Temple courts and to observe 
the objects and people and events which are told of 
in the Gospels and the Acts. This will be at once the 
most natural and the most effectual method of be- 
coming acquainted with these sacred buildings and 
their uses. From time to time we shall thus revisit 
every portion of the Hieron and shall have occasion 
to note the details of its structure, the ordering of its 
worship, and the way in which people were busying 
themselves within its precincts. We shall, of course, 
bear in mind that the workmen are still busy here and 
there (Greeks in the Portico and Jews elsewhere) 
transforming the second Temple into the third. But 
one important caution is necessary for the English 
reader. We have already noticed some remote analo- 
gies between an English church and the Jewish Temple. 
It must always be remembered that those analogies 
are very remote indeed. The Temple was much more 
unlike than like an English place of worship. The 
altar, for instance, stood open to the sky, and the 
whole series of courts was much more open to the air 
than any portion of an English church. We might 



liken some of the Temple courts to the cloisters of an 
English cathedral ; but here again we must resolutely 
remember that in the Temple courts there was nothing 
whatever of the stately and quiet seclusion of a 
cloister. On the contrary, these courts were the 
recognized meeting-place of the people, and in that 
respect were more like an English market-place than 
like a cloister. All day long the Temple police, who 
were invariably Levites, were as much in evidence in 
the Hieron as the English policemen are on a market 
day ; and on the days of the great religious festivals 
Roman guards walked upon the roof of Solomon's 
Portico and stood on the floors of the outer porticoes 
to help in the preservation of order. Not till sunset, 
when the gates were closed, did silence fall upon the 
place and leave it in possession of the Temple guards 
and of the Captain of the Temple, who walked about, 
in the light of torches carried before him, to see that 
none of the guards were sleeping. Anyone so found 
was not awakened, but had his garments set alight. 

Our first incident happens about a year or so before 
the time of the golden eagle affair. During many 
centuries incense had been offered twice a day in the 
sanctuary. On the day in question it was being offered 
by the priest whose turn it is, as decided by lot. He 
has taken fire from the altar on the east of the sanc- 
tuary, and carried it into the outer or eastern court 
of the Naos. The curtain has closed behind him and 
he is alone. He lays the fire upon the incense altar 
and then pours incense sticks from a golden vessel 
upon the fire. The smoke of the incense gradually fills 
the room and even finds its way westward into the 
smaller room beyond, the partition between them 


being but half the height of the side walls. That is a 
court which he himself has never entered and never 
will. It is the most holy place of Jehovah. But the 
incense represents his prayers and the prayers of a 
whole multitude who are devoutly waiting outside the 
Naos. It is the most solemn moment in a priest's life 
when for the only time he thus offers incense. 

The priest on duty for this day is an aged man 
named Zacharias. He belongs to one of the twenty- 
four courses of priests appointed regularly since the 
return from the Captivity five hundred years before. 
Each course went on duty for a week at a time, and 
each priest in the course on duty was liable to be 
chosen by lot for the honour of officiating on a given 
day in the week. The lot for to-day has fallen upon 
this aged man. He knows it will be the only time that 
the lot will fall to him for this most solemn duty. His 
time to pass away from service in the earthly sanctuary 
will soon be come. Already he is on the borderland of 
the eternal. A great and solemn emotion fills his soul, 
even as the sacred smoke of incense fills the court 
around him. He thinks of the days which will be after 
he is gone. And as he tarries long in prayer he has a 
vision of an angel of the Lord standing there with him, 
on the other side of the golden altar, in the silent 
sacred place. And Zacharias was troubled when he 
saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said 
unto him, ' Fear not, Zacharias ; because thy supplica- 
tion is heard.' What had been his supplication ? 
Evidently that he might not die childless; that he 
might leave behind him one who should go before the 
face of the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah of old. 
The supplication was in due time answered in the birth 


to him of John the Baptist, the forerunner of our 
Lord. Meanwhile the people at prayer outside, by the 
altar steps in the Court of Israel, marvelled at the long 
tarrying of the aged priest within. They were waiting 
for the assurance, which his return to them would 
bring, that their prayers also had been accepted. 
Just in the same way the writer of the Epistle to the 
Hebrews conceives the whole Church to be waiting 
now till Christ shall appear the second time, without 
a sin-offering unto salvation. The Church on earth 
is the outer court of that sanctuary in the heavens 
into which Christ has entered to appear before the 
face of God for us. But when Zacharias returned to 
the people he could not speak, but gave his priestly 
blessing by signs ; and they perceived that he had 
seen a vision in the sanctuary- 

About a year afterwards Jesus was born in Bethle- 
hem, whither his parents had gone for an enrolment 
or census which is now known to have been made at 
that time, though Luke is careful in a single sentence 
to explain (ii. 2) that though the enrolment was made 
during the last days of Herod the Great, his son 
Archelaus, as Ethnarch, in spite of severities, was 
unable to enforce the collection of the tax contemplated 
in it. This led to his deposition in a.d. 6, and to the 
appointment of an Imperial Procurator of Syria, in the 
person of Publius Sulpicius Quirinus. He held office 
for but three stormy years, but he collected the 
tribute, a reference to the riots that accompanied the 
legal process being given by Luke in Acts v. 37 (A.V.) : 

' After this man rose up Judas of Galilee 1 in the 

1 Josephus has several references to this man and his sons. Ant. xviii. 
I § 6 ; xx. 5 § 2 ; War ii. 8 § I ; ii. 17 § 8. 


days of the taxing, and drew away people after 
him : he also perished ; and all, as many as obeyed 
him, were scattered abroad.' 

A very ancient and universal sentiment, of which 
there are traces in English villages even to-day, co- 
incided with the Jewish law that a woman after child- 
birth must not leave the house for forty days, and 
then must present herself in the house of God. In the 
case of a male firstborn, the child also was to be con- 
secrated to the Lord. The mother was to present first 
a sin-offering and then a burnt-offering in the Temple. 
Ceremonial uncleanness in relation to childbirth was 
regarded as a sort of sin by adding a fresh unit to a 
race of sinners and was expiated by the sin-offering. 
Thankfulness for the childbirth and full consecration 
to God were betokened by the burnt-offering or oblation. 
For the sin-offering a lamb was ordained for sacrifice, 
and for the burnt-offering a turtle-dove or a young 
pigeon. The young pigeon may have been an alterna- 
tive rendered necessary by the migratory habits of 
the turtle-dove ; for ' the voice of the turtle ' was 
not always ' heard in the land.' In the case of people 
too poor to provide a lamb for the sin-offering, a 
turtle-dove (or a young pigeon) was allowed to be 
offered in this case as well as in the case of the burnt- 
offering (Lev. xii. 8). These animals were constantly 
exposed for sale in Solomon's Portico to intending 

So it came to pass that, in the year reckoned as 
4 B.C., Mary and the infant Jesus set out from Beth- 
lehem to the south-west of Jerusalem to make the 
five or six miles journey between it and the Temple. 


Their journey along a defile between the hills would 
bring them at length towards that south-western 
pinnacle or adjunct of the Temple building which, 
towering above the valley, was later to be a scene in 
the Temptation of Jesus. We must picture the little 
party taking their offerings with them, for we can 
hardly imagine the Mother of our Lord falling con- 
sciously or unconsciously into the error of purchasing 
them within even the least sacred court of the Temple. 
She brought no lamb, however. She was too poor 
for that. Without dwelling for the space of so much 
as one word on her poverty, the reticent Luke simply 
says that she brought two doves. 

Arrived at the Temple, the infant Jesus is carried 
for the first time into that Treasury court whose 
pavement He was afterwards to tread so often. 

No people — not even the British aristocracy — have 
ever been so meticulously particular as to their family 
pedigrees as the Hebrews, as many genealogical 
chapters in both Testaments show. The great families 
of the nation — and none were so great as that of David 
— had special cause for this. In his biographies we see 
that all men, even the blind beggar at Jericho, and 
the children in the Hieron, 1 knew that Jesus was a son 
of David. He himself on one occasion, as He taught 
in the Hieron, appealed to this fact as an unanswerable 
argument in favour of His being the expected Messiah, 
and no man gainsaid Him. Why ? Because the 
presentation in the Temple was an official act and 
sescured legal evidence that to Mary and Joseph — rank 
coming through the father — there was born a son 
named Jesus who was of the royal line. Both parents 

1 Luke xviii. 38 ; Matt. xxi. 15. 


were present, and the entry being made in the national 
records, kept in the Chamber of the Nazirites, was 
both accessible and irrevocable. 

This done, Mary delivered up her doves to a priest 
to offer on her behalf. The priest takes first one dove 
for the sin-offering and, while he sprinkles its blood upon 
the side of the great altar in front of the sanctuary, 
Mary prostrates herself in prayer in the court where 
she remained. Then she no doubt would ascend to 
the raised gallery of the court in order that she might 
at least see the smoke of her burnt-offering ascending 
from the remote altar as a ' sweet savour unto the 

There would be few to notice the peasant woman 
and her child, nor to dream what the child was to 
become. For, once more contrary to English pre- 
possessions, we are not to imagine anything of the 
nature of a worshipping congregation in the Temple, 
except perhaps at the great festivals. The worship 
was personal and individual and not a corporate act. 
A person bringing a sacrifice or an offering would 
attract no more attention than a woman kneeling in 
a side chapel in a modern Roman Catholic church at 
any hour of the day. Around Mary and her infant 
there would be people coming and going on their own 
errands, each quite independent of the rest and of her. 

Nevertheless, Mary had a little group of her kinsfolk 
and acquaintance about her on that, to her, most 
memorable day. Joseph was at her side, and perhaps 
Elizabeth, the wife of Zacharias, her aged kinswoman. 
Two other aged persons are attracted to the little 
party there in the Treasury court, attracted apparently 
by that divine insight which is sometimes given to the 


devout in their extreme old age. One of them is a 
certain Simeon to whom it has been given by the Holy 
Ghost to know that he should not see death before he 
had seen the Lord's anointed One. Another was Anna, 
a prophetess, who was in the habit of spending much 
of the time now left to her in prayer in the Temple. 
Night and day she was there, waiting in the dawn for 
the gates to open and lingering at sunset till the swift 
darkness had overtaken the watchmen who closed 
the gates behind her. These two, then, led by the 
Spirit, came into the Treasury at the very hour when 
Mary, having made her offerings through the priest, 
was reclaiming her firstborn from Temple service in 
the customary fashion, the Levites having long ago 
actually taken the place of the firstborn. As the old 
man Simeon approaches, Mary seems to have in- 
stinctively held out her child to him, and he ' re- 
ceived ' Him into his own arms and spoke undying 
words while he folded the infant to his breast. By 
this time other stragglers have been drawn to the 
pathetic little scene, and to them Anna speaks, assured 
that they too are looking for the redemption of Jeru- 

It is one of the most moving incidents in history. 
The officials of the Temple are going on their own way, 
heedless of it. The priests by this time are offering 
the sacrifices of other worshippers. The little group 
in a corner of the court are entirely lay and unofficial. 
Not a priest is with them of all the thousands of priests 
always in Jerusalem. It is a group of simple peasant 
people, unknown and unnoticed. But the world's 
destiny is in the making among them. The Kingdom 
is being born which is to be greater than the Temple, 


greater than Jerusalem, greater than the Roman 
Empire itself. 

And now that all things are accomplished the little 
group breaks up. Mary, with Joseph beside her, 
passes out of the Temple into the city. No passer-by 
turns his head to look at her, but she carries in her 
arms the Hope of Israel and of the world. And she 
knows it. She knew it before that day. She had 
rejoiced in it through all those silent months since the 
Annunciation. But that day a new, strange word had 
been said in her hearing by that grave old man. ' A 
sword shall pierce through thine own soul,' he had 
said. No shepherds, no one of the Magi, had said a 
word like that to her ; no angel had foretold it. She 
had not heard it till that day. She was to know in 
after years how true it was. But for the present the 
three returned to Bethlehem ; and though they were 
often again to be in Jerusalem, we do not know that 
either of them ever went again to Bethlehem after this 
long visit there. 

One of Herod's last atrocities was his slaughter of 
the holy innocents of Bethlehem. The wise men's 
question — ' Where is He that is born King of the Jews ? ' 
— was exactly one to excite his jealousy. He was not 
bom a. Jew, much less King of the Jews, and he trembled 
for the retention of the throne in his family. That he 
made careful inquiry of the Magi what time the star 
appeared, and grounded thus his action in slaughtering 
all those babies under two years of age, is recorded by 
Matthew ; but it does not follow that the infant Jesus 
was then of that age. The probabilities are all the 
other way. We have seen that Herod died on the 
30th March, 4 b.c. If we suppose the Incarnation to 


have taken place on the Christmas Day before this, 
we have but to find room for the forty days preceding 
the presentation in the Temple and for the few hours' 
visit of the Magi, to allow of the flight into Egypt 
occurring shortly before the massacre and death of 
the monster. The stay in Egypt was a short one, 
perhaps of a few days' length only. News of the 
Bethlehem murders would soon be followed by that 
of the murderer's death. 

No mother's heart, however, was much comforted 
when Herod's son, Archelaus, took his dead father's 
place, pending an appeal to Csesar as to the inter- 
pretation of Herod's will. The holy family had 
sojourned in Egypt till Herod's death, and on their 
return were as much afraid as ever to remain in Judaea, 
for Archelaus, in spite of an official visit to the Temple 
and other attempts to win over the people, was already 
in disfavour with them, and they inclined to resent- 
ment. In April the Passover was held. A great 
multitude of Jews had come up, as usual, from all 
parts of the Empire to Jerusalem. The general talk 
was of Herod's recent outrage upon the men who had 
cut down the golden eagle. Archelaus had refused to 
avenge this outrage. The multitude became so enraged 
thereupon that he found it necessary to call out the 
whole army in order to keep in check the people who 
crowded the Temple courts or had pitched their tents 
for the Passover outside the Temple area. Blood 
flowed. Three thousand men were slain and others 
fled to the mountains or hastened to their homes before 
the Passover was ended. The Temple was denied 
with dead bodies — slain like sacrifices themselves. 
The very kinsmen of Archelaus were vehemently 


against him. But Rome was reluctant to intervene. 
The Feast of Pentecost, in June, brought the people 
together again, who now were as indignant with Rome 
as with Archelaus. Remembering the Passover 
assault, they defended the Temple hill on the western 
side, where it was most open to attack, and proceeded 
to lay siege to the Roman garrison in the city. A 
battle ensued in the Tyropcean Valley. From the 
roofs of the porticoes which formed and surrounded 
the outer court of the Temple, they cast stones down 
upon the Romans advancing on them from the west, 
and assailed them with sling and bow. At last the 
Romans in Antonia set fire to the cloisters or porticoes 
on their western extension. A good deal of combustible 
builders' material still lay about, and the fire catching 
hold immediately, the vast works on this side, from the 
north to south, were destroyed utterly ; the Jews 
standing upon the burning roofs either were killed by 
the Romans or else killed themselves, and so got out 
of their misery. Not one of them escaped. In the 
strife and confusion on the Temple hill the Temple 
treasure was looted, and some of the Jewish soldiery 
capitulated to the Romans. The whole country was 
presently in a ferment of disorder. 

At length the Roman forces were augmented and 
two thousand of the revolting Jews were crucified. 
The Jewish people sent ambassadors to Rome to lay 
their view of the case before Augustus, but for the 
present in vain. Archelaus was established in his 
position and made some attempt to govern. By the 
year a.d. 6 the principal men of the subject race, being 
no longer able to bear his barbarous and tyrannical 
usage, accused him once more before Caesar. This 


time they were successful. Archelaus was banished 
to Vienne, a city of Gaul, and died there. Thus the 
Jews by their own act were deprived of even the 
semblance of independence. Henceforth they became 
frankly a Roman province without so much as a 
vassal King. Their true King, if they had but known 
it, was a son of David, 1 now ten years of age, away in 
the remote Galilean village of Nazareth, still subject 
to his parents. The Hope of Israel was the carpenter's 
son, whom the nation was to reject in its turn. 

1 So widespread was the knowledge as to those who were members of 
the royal family that even the Syro-Phcenician woman's appeal was, 
' Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David. ' The genealogies of 
Matthew and Luke are both genealogies of Joseph, the supposed father of 
Jesus. Matthew gives the royal descent through Solomon ; Luke gives 
the natural descent through Nathan. This may be explained by remem- 
bering that the late Queen Victoria inherited the throne of William IV, but 
was herself the child of Edward Duke of Kent. Both lines met in George 
III. Those of Joseph in David. 


THE events of the stormy reign of Archelaus help 
us very materially to understand why the 
Hieron was so long in rebuilding. During that ten 
years it could hardly be that the work was appreciably 
advanced. Intestine war is incompatible with building 
operations in any case. In this case it did more than 
hinder. If, as is probable, the cloisters burnt down 
during the war were the whole of those which looked 
down on the Tyropcean Valley, then it is evident that 
the Temple was not only not advanced during the 
ten years of the reign of Archelaus, but also that it 
was actually in a less advanced state at the end of 
that time than at the beginning. Twelve hundred feet 
were destroyed and may not have been as yet replaced. 
The New Testament is as silent about Roman and 
Jewish history in this period as Josephus is about the 
history of Christianity. New Testament historians 
are concerned mainly with a ' Kingdom which is not of 
this world,' and they only refer incidentally to the 
current history of nations, and at points where Chris- 
tianity happens to touch national affairs. Such 
points of contact are connected with the paying and 
farming of Roman taxes, or with the Sanhedrin, the 
one Jewish national institution which survived the 



suppression of the monarchy. The Sanhedrin con- 
tinued to exercise authority, temporal as well as 
spiritual, when its political power was gone. Its 
criminal procedure was absolute still, except that its 
capital sentences had to be confirmed by the Roman 
procurator before they could take effect. It main- 
tained a Levitical police force arid had its two court 
houses within the Hieron, between the Treasury and 
the Grand Portico. The civil administration of Jeru- 
salem thus curbed came to be far better under the 
Roman rule than it had been under the Idumean 

The administration of religion under the wise and 
tolerant government of the Romans enjoyed the same 
advantages as before. It was not the policy of Rome 
to interfere more than was absolutely necessary with 
the local affairs of her subject provinces. As we have 
seen, it was not Rome, but the Jews themselves who 
were responsible for the suppression of the monarchy, 
and Rome had no desire whatever to suppress the 
hierarchy. Hence it was that worship and instruction 
went on in the Temple quite without hindrance or 
interference from the Imperial Government. 

' Instruction ' as well as ' worship ' — for every 
Synagogue was a day-school for children. Perhaps 
the statement that there was a Synagogue within the 
Hieron arose from the fact that, to adults also, more 
or less informal instruction in the Jewish religion was 
commonly given there. 1 One such instance is notable 
in the New Testament story. In the year a.d. 8, 

1 In the Temple there was a special receptacle — that ' of the secret ' — 
for contributions for the education of the children of the pious poor 


when a company of pilgrims were returning to their 
home in Galilee from the Passover in Jerusalem, it was 
found that the child Jesus, now twelve years old, was 
not in the company. His parents left the company 
and went back to find their child seated not in the 
Synagogue, but among the doctors in the Temple. 
By a natural affinity, stronger than that of earthly 
parentage, the boy had recognized, during this first 
visit to the Temple, that His true home, His Father's 
house and business, was there at the seat of religion. 
The Rabbis had never met a pupil so apt. His under- 
standing and attention, His questions and His answers, 
betokened a new insight for divine things, and they 
were amazed. The silence of the evangelist as to any 
sort of amazement on the part of the boy Himself is 
one of the numberless indications in the Gospels that 
their portraiture of Jesus is inspired by a divine 
instinct rather than by the ordinary standards of 
literature and biography. Luke simply records that 
the boy was so sure of His true home and calling that 
His only wonder was that His parents should not 
have recognized it too. The divine in the boy's 
nature is already seen to be not acquired, but essen- 
tial — as essential as His true humanity, which ensures 
that He shall still be subject to His parents when they 
resume their belated journey homewards to Nazareth. 
Long afterwards Mary told Luke how she had kept all 
these things in her heart, telling them to no one. One 
wonders whether any of the doctors suspected that 
the appearance of the boy among them was till then 
the greatest event that had happened in the Temple's 
history. ' The Lord, whom ye seek,' said Malachi, 
' shall suddenly come to His Temple.' He had come ! 


For the next two decades there is little record of 
events connected with the Temple. During those 
years three procurators are successively appointed in 
the province : Marcus Ambivius gives place to Annius 
Rufus, who in turn is succeeded by Gratus in the year 
of the accession of the Emperor Tiberius. It is not 
till the appointment of Pontius Pilate to be procurator, 
in the year a.d. 25, that we once more hear of Jesus. 
About this time He came to be baptized by John the 
Baptist in Jordan. That He must often have visited 
the Temple in the meantime may be taken as certain, 
but there is no record of it. 

We know, however, that during this period the 
Temple was the focus of the religious and social life 
of the Jewish people. Before the rising of each day's 
sun there was a sacrifice and an offering of incense, the 
Temple gates having been opened at the order of the 
President of the Temple as soon as the city was plainly 
visible in the morning twilight. The morning sacrifice 
was thus completed before sunrise, in order that there 
might be no possibility of connecting it in the minds 
of the worshippers with the service of Baal, the great 
sun-god and the early rival of Jehovah. Throughout 
the day individual sacrifice and offering continued till 
the offering of the evening sacrifice at three o'clock. 
In the outer courts people were coming and going the 
whole day through, some to make their private and 
personal offerings, some to teach or to learn; some 
merely to enjoy social intercourse, some to attend the 
administration of justice in the Sanhedrin courts. 
Children gathered in the Treasury and sang loud songs 
to words of their own selection. 

The Temple priesthood was itself the most con- 


spicuous corporation in Jerusalem. Reference has 
already been made to their large numbers, large even 
when allowance has been made for possible exaggera- 
tion on the part of the historians. The priesthood was 
a hereditary office, and its members were divided into 
twenty-four families or classes, which were again sub- 
divided into smaller groups. AH of them were de- 
scended from Aaron and were thus in theory equally 
sacred, but there were nevertheless many minor 
social disparities among them, as is the case with, for 
instance, the Roman Catholic priesthood of our own 
times. The high priests, however, were usually 
drawn from a few superior families — the office had 
long ceased to be hereditary— and it was not an un- 
known thing for these superior families to oppress and 
even to rob their poorer brethren. For this reason 
many of the inferior priesthood were, like the people, 
much opposed to the Roman overlordship, which gave 
the superior priesthood a commanding place and 
voice in the Sanhedrin and entrusted them with civil 
as well as ecclesiastical power. Every candidate for 
the priesthood was obliged to satisfy the Sanhedrin 
as to his genealogy and that he was free from the bodily 
infirmities described in Leviticus xxi. before he was 
allowed to take part in the Temple services. There 
was, moreover, a subordinate and assistant order of 
officials known as Levites whose duties, though sacred, 
were of an inferior type. The distinction was analogous 
to, though much more marked than, the case of an 
assistant priest's relation to the incumbent under 
whom he serves in the Anglican Church. The relations 
of the two orders are given in Numbers xviii. 6-7. 
The priesthood was richly endowed in these times. 


As in earlier times, the firstfruits of agriculture were 
assigned to them, the poorest crop of mint, anise and 
cummin being punctiliously tithed. Godet, on Romans 
xi. 16, maintains that even a certain portion of the 
bread baked in Jewish households formed a part of the 
priests' income, though it seems possible that St. Paul 
might have been surprised to read this exegesis of his 
commentator. They retained, when ministering, a 
share of the carcases of the animals offered in sacrifice, 
and even the skins of those animals which were con- 
sumed in burnt-offering. These when added to the 
portions of the meal-offerings and other unbloody 
sacrifices assigned to them must have provided the 
priests with commodities of very considerable market 
value. If ever a priest, or even a Levite, died through 
want, the blame was due to the occasional fraud and 
rapacity of other priests rather than to failure at the 
sources of supply. 1 

Except at the great festivals, each priest was only 
occasionally on duty. The order in which he served 
was determined by lot drawn within the class to which 
he belonged — each class serving for a week at a time. 
Indeed, the more sacred duties would fall to a given 
priest no more than once in a lifetime. During their 
period of service minute precautions were taken to 
ensure their ceremonial cleanness and legal purity. 

From the baptism of our Lord onward to the time 
of His Passion, a period covering about three years and 
ending in the year a.d. 30, we have little record of His 
presence in Jerusalem. The three synoptic Gospels 
represent His ministry as having been exercised almost 
entirely in Galilee, and as their story follows His 

1 Ant. xx. 8 § 8. 


ministry rather than the history of the Jews in general, 
we find little or nothing recorded by them concerning 
the Temple, except on those occasions when the Temple 
was visited by Jesus. One such visit is no doubt to be 
regarded as visionary rather than actual. A pinnacle 
or wing (irrepvyiov) of the Temple is given as the 
scene of one of the acts in the drama of the Temptation. 
The story has at least this historical Value, that the use 
of the definite article by both evangelists who tell the 
story indicates the wing as a prominent and well- 
known feature in the Temple structure. It was 
probably the detached building standing above the 
south-eastern escarpment, that giddy elevation about 
which Josephus allows his imagination to play upon 
occasion. (See Pastophoria in Index.) 

At the Passover, which preceded His first miracle 
in Cana of Galilee, Jesus had gone to Jerusalem and, 
during the feast, had spoken many words calling atten- 
tion to His claims, and made some not very stable 
converts (John ii. 23). Some of His fellow-Galileans 
hearing these, wished Him to repeat them in Galilee 
(John iv. 45) ; just as the men of Nazareth wished 
Him to do in His own country what extraordinary 
things they had heard He had done at Capernaum 
(Luke iv. 23). 

These are but surface indications of the intense 
activity of the earlier years of the Divine Ministry. 
There is, however, this to be observed, that during 
these years Jesus shrank from much miracle-working 
in Jerusalem. He did not wish to foment the hostility 
of the priests. He was often heard to say, ' Mine hour 
is not yet come,' as if to bridle Himself in ; and on 
one notable occasion we are allowed to see the inner 


workings of His mind when He saw a fit object of His 
compassion. Passing along one of the streets of the 
city He saw a man blind from his birth. His tender 
heart pitied the man, and as He was considering what 
He should do and how, the disciples raised the theo- 
logical question as to why the man was blind from 
birth. Waiving aside their rabbinical subtleties, Jesus 
thought aloud thus : ' I must work the works of Him 
that sent Me in spite of all misrepresentation, and be 
careless of consequences. The night of death is coming, 
and I must finish the work given Me to do, no matter 
who objects. After all, I am sent as the Light of the 
World, and it is fittingly done if I enlighten this poor 
man.' So He made clay and healed him. Of all the 
hubbub that followed, the ninth and tenth chapters of 
John are full. 

This occurred about the middle of the three years' 
ministry, and seems to mark the point at which Jesus 
broke the reserve hitherto maintained as to miracles 
in Jerusalem. He may in these years have attended 
ten great festivals, but His earlier work there was to 
preach, to argue, to convince, and not to exasperate 
and infuriate His foes. 

Luke mentions, but only incidentally, a ghastly 
tragedy which is only too likely to have been actual. 
While Jesus was in Galilee some persons arrived there 
with the news that Pilate had mingled the blood of 
certain unfortunate Galileans with that of their own 
sacrifices. That the incident is nowhere else referred 
to is the proof of what we know from other sources, 
namely, that legal prosecutions and even executions 
in the most sacred surroundings were by no means 
uncommon nor worthy of special note. These Gali- 


leans were, or were suspected to be, adherents of Judas 
of Galilee, the founder of the Zealots, who had gone 
up to the Temple for one of the great festivals and 
had met their death in the tragic fashion of which we 
have but a glimpse. 

The times, indeed, were pregnant with disaster. 
Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Galilee, whose conscience 
would never allow him to forget the beheading of John 
the Baptist, would very willingly have put Jesus out 
of the way in like manner. At all events, the Pharisees 
so represented the matter to Jesus, themselves not 
unwilling to get rid of the Prophet of Galilee at any 
cost. This appears to have been the occasion of that 
itinerary of Jesus through cities and villages south- 
ward, with Jerusalem as its goal, which led to the 
pathetic lament over the city which is recorded by 
St. Matthew and St. Luke. It is extremely probable 
that the lament was uttered when at last the city 
came into view from some height upon the southward 
road — Scopus gives such a view — and we shall see 
that it was afterwards repeated during a journey 
from Bethany over the Mount of Olives towards the 
city from the other side. In every respect the Temple 
was of course the most striking feature of the view. 
Repeated acts of sacrilege had defiled it, the tragedy 
of the Galileans being the most recent of them, and 
the majority of the Jews themselves had rejected 
the protection and love of Jesus, associated as these 
were with His claims to the Messiahship. Henceforth 
the house which had been ' My Father's house ' in the 
mind of Jesus, the place where from His twelfth year 
' My Father's business ' had had its home, was now 
become merely ' your house.' Its sacredness had 


departed ; it had become but one among the other 
secular buildings of the city ; its virtual ' desolation ' 
was already achieved. 

There is a phrase in the lament of Jesus on this 
occasion which may be understood to indicate that 
He had not been absent from Jerusalem so entirely 
as the silence of the synoptists might lead us to suppose. 
' How often would I have gathered thy children . . . 
and ye would not.' This appears to imply that He 
must have made repeated appeals to them in the city 
itself, for ' thy children ' would hardly have been a 
description of the Jews in Galilee nor even of those 
comparatively few Jews from Jerusalem who had 
journeyed into Galilee and had withstood Him. Thus 
we are prepared to believe in the historicity of the 
visits which the Fourth Gospel alone records. In any 
case, the Fourth Gospel affords much documentary 
evidence regarding the Temple buildings, evidence 
quite independent of the question whether Jesus was 
actually present or not. 

The chronological structure of the Fourth Gospel 
depends very much upon those visits of Jesus to the 
great festivals at Jerusalem which must have been 
regarded as extremely likely to have happened even 
if we had possessed only the synoptic narratives. 
The first of them was the occasion for one of those 
cleansings of the Temple courts which this Gospel, as 
well as the synoptists, records, and which these 
evangelists recognized as the fulfilment of ancient 
prophetic words of Malachi and the Psalms. In 
Solomon's Portico a sort of occasional mart had been 
established by Annas and the Sadducean members of 
his large family for the sale of oxen, sheep, and doves 


required for sacrifice. Moreover, the financial con- 
ditions of those times necessitated a double currency 
in Judaea, native and Roman. Possibly Greek coins 
also were current there at this time. There was just 
enough regard for national sentiment and sacred 
associations to forbid the use of coins bearing the 
image of alien monarchs in transactions connected 
with the Temple. Hence the opportunity for the 
benches of money-changers among the market stalls, 
and for a lucrative financial business of the sort for 
which the Jews are still famous. The whole scene 
was little in harmony with the mission of Jesus. The 
evangelists naively tell us that He made a scourge of 
cords and cast all out of the court — sheep, oxen, and 
traffickers — and poured out the changers' money, and 
overthrew their tables, urging indignantly that His 
Father's house was no place for merchandise. Of 
course the Jews might have pleaded that they did not 
regard the Portico as a part of the Temple at all, nor 
as having any saeredness. The strange thing is that 
the hucksters appear to have urged no objection of this 
sort, nor of any sort, and to have allowed themselves 
to be driven out by this as yet unknown prophet from 
Nazareth. It is a testimony to the majestic power 
inherent in the personality of Jesus. No scourge of 
cords could have availed without that personality 
behind it. There are other incidents recorded of Him 
where the same striking influence upon men subdued 
them at sight, as when the soldiers in Gethsemane 
' went backward and fell to the ground.' 

The market in the Temple Portico was one newly 
established by the Ananus family of the High Priest- 
hood, who were all of the Sadducean sect. As such 


they would be opposed by the whole fraternity of the 
Pharisees, who were zealous for every item of the law, 
though no item in that law touched this particular 
point. It was with the moral support of this party 
that Jesus succeeded in cleansing the Portico without 
causing a riot. 

But the Jewish officials of the Temple, though then 
under Sadducean influence, did not acquiesce in this 
drastic expulsion without at least asking for some con- 
firmatory sign of the authority of Jesus to do these 
things, as if the expulsion itself had not been a sufficient 
sign. Hereupon we are introduced to a passage which 
causes some embarrassment to an historian. Jesus 
responded to their demand by giving a sign of the 
conventional sort so far as the terms of it were con- 
cerned, but one which nevertheless eluded their 
understanding. ' Destroy this Temple,' said He, ' and 
in three days I will raise it up.' The Jews replied, 
' In forty and six years was this Temple built, and wilt 
Thou raise it up in three days ? ' But Jesus, the 
evangelist explains, was speaking of the Temple of 
His body, and may have indicated that by a gesture 
which the Jews, at all events, did not notice or re- 

The forty-six years mentioned may fix the date of the 
incident at about a.d. 26, though the tense of the verb 
might indicate a later time. That, however, is a 
secondary matter. The embarrassment lies in the 
word used of the Temple. Had that word been 
' hieron ' there would have been no difficulty at all, 
for the whole structure indicated by that word had 
been about that length of time in building and was 
by no means completed yet. Moreover, the con- 


versation was taking place in either the Portico or 
immediately outside it. But the word used was not 
' Heron,' but ' ncios.' Now the Naos had been com- 
pleted, as other records tell us, in less than two years. 
What could the Jews mean by saying that it had been 
forty-six years in building ? It was not the Naos but 
the Hieron that had thus been dragging out the process 
of its construction. 

It was Jesus Himself who introduced the word naos 
or its Aramaic equivalent. ' Destroy this naos,' said 
He. It would have been a sufficiently effective reply 
to say ' eighteen months was this Naos in building.' 
Or they might have said, '■ Forty and six years was 
this Hieron in building.' But they did not say either 
of these things. They take up Jesus' own word and 
wrongly allocate their forty-six years to it. It would 
be natural to surmise that here is a confusion of terms, 
that they say naos when they mean hieron ; but 
against that surmise must be placed the remarkable 
fact that nowhere else in the New Testament are the 
words used interchangeably, the Naos is always the 
Naos and never the Hieron. 

The error may be put down to the excitement of 
the moment and the captious wish to snatch a victory 
in a wordy warfare which compelled the Jews to use 
the same word as had been just uttered. How strong 
was the disputation and how bitterly remembered is 
shown by the two former evangelists, each of whom 
records the taunt of the Crucifixion, ' Ah, Thou that 
destroyest the Temple, and buildest it in three 
days, save Thyself, and come down from the cross.' 

On the whole, if a solution of the problem must be 
indicated, we lean to the conclusion, indicated in a 


previous chapter, that both the ' forty-six years ' of 
John and the ' quite finished ' note of time in Josephus 
in A.D. 65 — these, last involving a period of eighty years 
from the foundation — are explicable by all the facts 
of the case when taken together, and refer to the whole 
completed structure of Naos, Hieron, and the outer 
Porticoes. One of these factors is the imperious and 
ambitious character of the man who built the Temple. 
The sole reason Herod gave for wishing to rebuild 
the second Temple was the lowness of its central tower. 
It is unlikely that this main incentive, springing as 
it did out of an unbridled ambition and the man's 
precarious and unpopular position as King of the Jews, 
should have been left unsatisfied for the last twelve 
years of his life. Rather we might infer that it was 
the first portion so completed. How then do we deal 
with the chronology ? 

Part of the answer will be found in looking at the 
facts of history, which are these : — So soon as Archelaus 
succeeded his father, one-third of all the Herodian 
porticoes, or two furlongs of them, were burnt down. 
These must have been slowly rebuilt in succeeding 
years out of Temple revenues, and may account for 
the ' forty-six years,' these being thirty years after their 
first completion by Herod, and twenty years after the 
conflagration. Archelaus was not the man to contri- 
bute to their restoration, and on his removal Cyrenius 
and his tax-gatherers fell upon the land like locusts. 
Peter and his Master were not the only ones who had 
not the wherewithal to satisfy the voluntary contribu- 
tion of a silver stater for the Temple. 

When that stormy petrel of Jewish history, Gessius 
Florus, appeared upon the scene, the Jews, as an act 


of military tactics, cut off both the northern and 
western porticoes from communication with the 
garrison in Antonia, as they led directly to the entrance 
to the barracks. This was in the second year of his 
governorship and the twelfth of the reign of Nero. 
The next year the war with Rome began, and it is 
to the completion of the repair of these several acts 
of vandalage that Josephus refers when he says the 
Temple was now ' quite finished.' Five years later all 
was ruin. 

Another part of the answer may be read in the pages 
of Josephus, who would probably be greatly surprised 
could he know that anyone raised a doubt that Herod 
finished the Naos of his own Temple. He tells us that 
one of four gates overlooking the Tyropcean Valley 
— which he very properly describes as ' the interme- 
diate valley ' — led to the King's palace. But he does 
not add, as he might have done, that when the inter- 
mediate valley was crossed the King entered a sub- 
terranean passage — still existing and in part explored 
— which took him to the precincts of his own palace on 
the west of the city. What he does tell us is that there 
was a short underground passage built for the King 
which led from Antonia to the inner Temple at its 
eastern gate. This underground passage is known to 
Josephus as Strato's Tower, and to the Jerusalem 
archaeologist as tank No. 3, and is reported to have 
been at a later date used as entrance to a bath by the 
priests of the Temple. Its original use, the historian 
tells us, was that, in case of any rebellion, the King 
might have an underground way to the Temple Porch 
from his own castle of Antonia. Coming from his 
palace in the short connection between the Royal or 


Warren's Gate and the Tadi Gate he would be attended 
by the soldiery from the garrison, as were the earlier 
Kings of Judah in their approaches to the Temple. 

The most interesting as well as the most conclusive 
fact stated by Josephus is his reference to the King's 
oratory in the words, ' Above the Eastern Gate of the 
inner Temple he also erected for himself a Tower " 
(Ant. xv. 11, § 5, 7). 


THE action of Jesus in cleansing the Temple 
court, referred to in the foregoing chapter, gives 
emphasis to a saying of His to a woman of Samaria 
on His next journey northward. ' Woman,' said He, 
' the hour cometh when neither in this mountain 
[Gerizim] nor in Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father.' 
He added, ' The hour cometh, and now is, when the 
true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and 
in truth.' Jesus foresaw all too clearly what the end 
must inevitably be. The centuries of localized worship 
in Jerusalem were drawing to a close. Already spiritual 
worship was ceasing, or had ceased, in the Temple, 
with the death of Anna, Zacharias, Simeon, and others 
of that generation ; and even now the souls of men 
were seeking direct access to God, without intervention 
of priest or ritual or sacred place. How true that 
forecast of Jesus was we shall see in the course of the 
story of the ensuing years. 

During the two years immediately following that 
conversation there is but little history of the Temple 
of the sort which a contemporary historian would note. 
It was ' not with observation ' that the Kingdom of 
God was brought into the affairs of men. We read 
of Jesus habitually walking in the Temple courts, and 



finding there men, singly or in groups, who were willing 
to listen to His teaching or were drawn into the ranks 
of His auditors by mere hostility to Him and His few 

The Fourth Gospel records the matter of His teach- 
ing. It is no doubt a compilation made a generation 
afterwards, and not necessarily in the actual order of 
the words that were spoken. It may even be a transla- 
tion as well as a compilation, for we may reasonably 
suppose that He spoke the contemporary native 
dialect of His people, the late form of Hebrew known 
as Aramaic, as well as the Greek language then 
current in the Roman Empire. At all events the 
discourses which have come down to us in the Fourth 
Gospel are, with other discourses spoken in Galilee, 
the primary documents of the Christian faith. They 
probably attracted but little attention at the time ; 
they were but a very minor incident in the life of the 
crowds of people who flocked to the great annual 
festivals in the Temple ; and yet they were the most 
important events in the world's history. Before many 
centuries were over they were to become the official 
faith of the Roman Empire itself, little as anybody 
dreamt of such a thing in the days of Jesus, and sub- 
sequently the whole history of at least the Western 
world has been profoundly modified by the teaching 
of the obscure Galilean prophet who moved among 
indifferent or hostile people in the Temple courts. He 
was Himself greater than the Temple. 

The teaching was probably more incidental and less 
systematic than it now appears in the ordered com- 
pilation. But the document preserves, nevertheless, 
many of the occasions which gave rise to it and deter- 


mined its course. Jesus meets with a man in the 
Temple courts whom He had cured of paralysis, and 
tells him that a sinful soul is a worse thing than a 
disabled body. The scene of this miracle — the pool 
of Bethesda— lay in the upper portion of the Tyropcean 
Valley and near Josephus' Gate of the Sanctuary. 
It consisted of five arches or porches standing around 
a central pool, the sixth side being probably an open 
gateway to the water. The troubling of its water 
shows that, like the Virgin's spring in the Kidron 
Valley, it was intermittently fed by gushes of water 
finding their way through the limestone rocks from 
the Lebanon range ; but the Jews did not know this. 
It was used for the purpose of washing animals before 
being taken to the altar — hence the name of the neigh- 
bouring gate — Sheep Gate. All traces of it have been 
long lost, but are now said to have been recovered. 
The cure of the impotent man there is one of the 
miracles peculiar to John's Gospel, and was objected 
to because done on the Sabbath. 

In the Temple courts Jesus encounters people who 
marvel that a Galilean should be able to discourse of 
religion at all, and tells them that not technical know- 
ledge of the Rabbinic or Mosaic laws, but an obedient 
disposition of heart is the legitimate and wide-open 
way to knowledge of doctrine ; He stands with people 
to witness libations of water from Siloam carried in a 
golden vessel by a procession of priests to pour over 
the altar at the morning sacrifice, and teaches them 
that true religion is a perennial source of living water 
in a man's own soul ; early in the morning He beholds 
the light of the rising sun as it makes the gilding of the 
Temple shine refulgent, and discourses of the true 


light, of Himself as the light of the world, of His 
teaching as the light of truth ; certain Greek proselytes 
among the worshippers unable to see Him in the 
Treasury where He usually taught, take steps to 
obtain an interview with Him, and His soul is filled 
with the vision of the ultimate glory, even through 
seeming dissolution and death, of the Son of Man and 
His frontierless Kingdom. The sight of the golden vine 
hanging on one of the Temple openings occasions a 
discourse of the vital source of fruitfulness to be found 
only in union with the divine. He is sitting one day 
in the Treasury court, in what may have been His 
usual seat, when a poor widow casts into one of the 
Treasury chests her whole poor living as a gift, and 
He remarks to the disciples about Him that the true 
measure of a gift is not what is given, but what is 
retained. Occasionally the Jewish officials notice the 
teaching and the Teacher and disdainfully ask what 
is His authority ; and the evangelists relate the astute 
dilemma by which He is able to turn the question 
upon themselves. At another time, when the cold 
winds of winter were swirling in the Portico as He walked 
there with His disciples, He gently relieves the sus- 
pense of their downcast minds by reminding them, in 
the hearing of hostile Jews, that the shepherd will 
care for the sheep however cold the blast may be. 

In this sporadic way the seeds of the Christian King- 
dom were sown. The discourses must be carefully and 
devoutly read, and in their setting, if they are to be 
rightly appreciated. This is not a theological treatise, 
nor even a history of the beginnings of Christianity, 
and so this is not the place for even a summary of the 
weighty words which laid deep and firm the principles 


upon which Christianity is built. What we are con- 
cerned with here is the fact that these two or three 
years were the most notable in the whole history of the 
Temple, notwithstanding the parallel fact that the 
significance of the teaching of Jesus was either ignored 
or withstood by the contemporary people who figure 
in the secular history of the period. More than once 
these people or their followers took up the builders' 
stones, which lay plentifully in or around the still 
unfinished building, and hurled them at the meek 
but intrepid Teacher. Many of His words were keen, 
pungent, and corrosive, but no man was ever so sure 
cf himself or of his mission. Even in argument and 
when smarting under insult, His voice was never raised. 
To the greybeards of the hierarchy it was not one of 
the least of His demerits that it was as impossible to 
confute Him in debate as it was to rouse Him to 
visible anger. From such labours and assaults He 
retired to Bethany, over the hill, where one little 
household was loyal to Him throughout, but He never 
shirked His perilous duty, and was daily to be found, 
from early morning onwards, walking or sitting in the 
Temple courts and speaking concerning the new 
Kingdom to any who would listen. And it is indicated 
in the synoptic Gospels that He once found it necessary 
to repeat the dramatic scourging of the traffickers in 
the Temple which has already been recorded. The 
majestic bearing of His person having cowed the 
stall-keepers of the Temple in the early part of His 
ministry, there is no reason why it should not have 
done so at its close. During these years Jesus appears 
to have attended most, if not all, the great festivals 
of the Jewish religion, observed in the Temple three 


times a year. He also attended one festival which was 
not of Mosaic origin. The ' Feast of the Dedication ' 
of the Temple was a national thanksgiving held 
annually in commemoration of the restoration of the 
Temple service by Judas Maccabeus in 165-164 B.C. 
It began about the 20th of December and lasted eight 
days. This was the festival which was being held on 
the wintry day when Jesus spoke of the Shepherd. 
Doubtless our Lord's aim in being thus, as it appears, 
punctilious in His attendance at these festivals was 
not solely that He might ' fulfil all righteousness.' 
That was certainly one of the principles which guided 
Him in the observance of the ecclesiastical law of the 
land. But there was also the other purpose which 
brought Him to the Temple on these occasions — the 
desire to be present whenever great numbers of people 
were assembled who might listen to His teaching. 
Once we read that He hungered on the way to the 
Temple from Bethany where he had lodged during 
the night. In His eagerness to return thither in time 
for the sacrifice at dawn He had evidently not broken 
His fast. There is an indication that once at least 
Jesus spent some portion of the night within the 
Temple. The topographical note which prefaces the 
discourse concerning the vine, and another note which 
concludes the series of discourses which supplemented 
that of the vine, point to the Temple and to the night 
as the scene and time of these discourses. During the 
Passover week the Temple doors were open to all 
comers soon after midnight. So Josephus tells us. 1 
Of course no sacrifices were being offered nor other 

1 Ant. xviii. 2 § 2. There may be here some reminiscence of the mid- 
night departure of the Israelites from Egypt. 


services observed during the night, and Jesus could only 
have been there at that time for that spiritual worship 
of which He had spoken to the woman in Samaria. 
It was His farewell visit. In an hour or two later He 
was to enter the Temple again, but under arrest. 

Of course, Jesus never entered the sacred enclosure 
of the Naos. He was not of the priestly order and 
would not have been permitted to enter. Still less 
would He ever have sought to enter it as the true 
King of Israel and a descendant of David, for that 
would have been to provoke a breach of the peace, as 
it involved the whole question of His Messiahship, com- 
promise here being impossible. His presence and His 
teaching were confined to the several courts of the 
Hieron. Being a Jew He was free to enter those courts 
of the Hieron from which Gentiles, even though they 
might be proselytes, were rigidly excluded. The 
Greeks who wished to see Jesus, therefore, must have 
been brought to Him in Solomon's Portico, which alone 
they were allowed to enter. The Treasury court 
(known also as the Court of the Women) seems to 
have been the usual scene of His teaching when no 
more precise location of it is given than the word 
hieron. Here the woman taken in adultery was brought 
to Him, and here certainly many of the incidents 
previously alluded to occurred. We are not often able 
to locate His presence in the Court of Jewish Men 
(from which women as well as Gentiles were excluded) ; 
but once, at all events, we certainly find Him there. 
This was on the occasion of the libation of water upon 
the altar. The Fourth Gospel uses an expression 
here which indicates that our Lord's utterance in this 
case was not in the manner of conversation, but in 


the louder tone suitable to an exclamation — He 
'stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him 
come unto Me and drink.' Other instances of our 
Lord's public appeals in the Temple are given in 
John vii. 28 and xii. 44, where He is said to have 
' cried ' and testified as to certain truths. These 
details have their confirmation in the fact that ever 
since the days of the Sadducean High Priest Alexander 
Janneas, the attendant worshippers of the Pharisees' 
sect had been in the habit of shouting approving or 
disapproving remarks to the officiating priest during 
this ceremony of the libation. The exclamation of 
Jesus inviting disciples was by no means of the con- 
ventional sort. It at once arrested attention. It 
appeared to the hearers to be nothing less than a claim 
to be the Messiah. A spirited controversy arose on 
the spot and spread among the people. The Temple 
police were soon afoot, ' and some of them would have 
taken Jesus ; but no man laid hands on Him.' The 
officers went back to the Sanhedrin chamber without 
their prisoner and with no excuse for their negligence 
but the naive profession, ' Never man spake like this 
Man ' — one more indication of the strange and 
dominating influence inherent in the person of Jesus, 
and manifested upon occasion. 

The place allowed to Gentiles in the Temple at this 
period claims a passing note. It has already been 
stated that the Portico alone was assigned to their use, 
and that not even a proselyte could penetrate further 
than the limits of that court. The Jews would have 
been very content if they had been allowed to exclude 
Gentiles from even that court. Not having it in their 
power to do this, they did the thing which seemed to 


them to be the next best, they adopted and promul- 
gated the fiction that the Portico was not a part of the 
Temple at all. This studied attempt to secularize a 
portion of the fabric of the Temple is one that is full 
of meaning for a reader of the New Testament. The 
worldly minded and wicked Herod was wiser in his 
generation than the children of light, inasmuch as he 
secured for the non- Jew a standing-ground within the 
sacred enclosure, where the public reading of the Law 
might be heard, where the chanted psalms also were 
audible, and where a Gentile might have some part, 
if a distant and indirect part, in the worship of Jehovah. 
As a matter of fact, he was not only wiser, but also a 
better exponent of the ecclesiastical law itself than 
its professed guardians. In Leviticus xxii. 25 it is 
distinctly implied that a sacrifice might be accepted 
from the hand of a foreigner, provided only that the 
sacrifice were without blemish. Schiirer's wealth of 
learning has made it abundantly evident that in the 
later history of Judaism the Gentiles might and did 
participate in the worship of Jehovah at Jerusalem ; 
' and so,' he says, ' even the exclusive Temple at 
Jerusalem became in a certain sense cosmopolitan ; 
it, too, received the homage of the whole world in 
common with the more celebrated structures of 
heathendom.' 1 

The cleansing of this court by Jesus (whether on 
one or two occasions) coincided in each case with the 
ceremonial Passover cleansing of dwelling-houses from 
leaven— and of the city from malefactors — a suggestive 
synchronation which could hardly have been merely 
a coincidence. But one thing is clear, and that is that 

1 The Jewish People, vol. i., pp. 299-305. 


it was not for being Gentiles, but for being secular 
traffickers that men were expelled by Him. Whether 
these men were Gentiles or Jews did not enter into 
the question at all. It was the sacredness of this court, 
as a portion of His ' Father's house,' that Jesus was 
defending, and not by any means the false idea of 
sacredness which would have closed it to foreigners. 
When Jesus met — in this very court — Greeks who were 
not traffickers but worshippers He by no means 
resented their presence there. On the contrary, He 
was stirred by strong emotions when He recognized 
in the fact of their presence a premonition of the larger 
growth of the Kingdom of God upon earth, emotions 
which were confirmed by a voice out of heaven in a 
burst of thunder. His rapt consciousness of the larger 
vision was so evident at the moment that the by- 
standers imagined that an angel spoke to Him. The 
event was the genesis of the missionary spirit in the 
Christian Church. 

A still further example of the ampler spirit which 
Jesus was introducing into current conceptions of 
religion may be found in the story of the Pharisee and 
the publican. It is cited as a parable by the evan- 
gelist Luke, but the Pharisee, if not the publican, must 
often have been seen by Jesus just as He describes 
him. The man, conscious and vain-glorious in his 
unassailable rectitude, walks straight to the altar 
to offer his so-called prayer of self-adulation. The 
publican, on the contrary, only penetrates so far as to 
be able to see the altar, and there stops, on the twelfth 
step of the soreg. He goes, in fact, just so far as a 
Gentile proselyte might have gone. He regards himself 
as no better than ' the sinner ' of the Gentiles. With 


head bowed down he says as much, and with a gesture 
of penitence he craves merely for mercy. Jesus, with 
a startling reversal of current ideas, adds that it was 
this anti-nationalist publican, this farmer of taxes, 
who went down to his house justified, rather than the 
other. Humble penitence is to take precedence, in 
the new order, over conventional righteousness how- 
ever exalted, and is to be, in the laws of the Kingdom 
of God, the condition of forgiveness. 

Each of the three synoptic Gospels records a remark 
made by the disciples, or by one of them, as they with 
our Lord were leaving the Temple one day towards the 
end of the three years' ministry. The remark was 
made, as they climbed the steep of Olivet, to call forth 
the admiration of Jesus for the magnificence of the 
stones and buildings of the newly erected Temple, now 
approaching completion, and for the metal ' offerings ' 
with which it was adorned. The remark itself was of 
no importance except as one of many indications of 
the striking splendour and stability of the edifice. It 
would not have been recorded but for the fact that it 
called forth from Jesus a discourse in the manner of an 
apocalyptic vision as far as possible removed from the 
acquiescent admiration which the disciples apparently 

But the remark itself is suggestive. We know 
already how well Herod's huge masonry merited all 
the praise that could be bestowed upon it. But what 
were the ' offerings ' which adorned it ? The Greek 
word used here in the sense of a votive offering is not 
so used in any other place in the New Testament. 
It occurs, however, in the same sense in 2 Mace. ix. 16, 
where Antiochus, smitten with ' bitter torments of the 


inward parts,' vows to adorn the Jewish sanctuary 
with 'goodliest offerings.' That, of course, has 
reference to the previous Temple. As to the present 
Temple of Herod, Josephus tells us that ' round about 
the entire Temple were fixed the spoils formerly taken 
from barbarous nations ; all these had been re- 
dedicated to the Temple by Herod, with the addition 
of those he had taken from the Arabians.' In later 
times additions were made to these, such as the golden 
chain of Agrippa, which was hung up over the Treasury 
ten years or more after this time. Herod's own gift of 
the golden vine with its vast clusters, ' a surprising 
delight to the spectators,' 1 would no doubt be included 
in the disciples' eulogy, though Middoth iii. 8 says that 
separate leaves, berries, or tendrils were, in some cases 
at least, individual freewill -offerings. These were 
possibly later additions. 

The desire of Jesus was, however, indicated by no 
such things as these as He sat on the steep of Olivet . 
Already the inevitable catastrophe filled Him with 
thoughts quite different from those which occupied 
the minds of the disciples. While they beheld with 
admiration the masonry, built to last for ages, and the 
glittering shields, He foresaw the overthrow not only 
of the masonry, but also of the passing order of things 
spiritual of which the building was the token. The 
disciples had not been present when Jesus spoke to 
the woman of Samaria of the impending dissolution 
of worship in Jerusalem. To them, therefore, there 
came something of dismay when Jesus abruptly told 
them of the coming days in which not one stone should 
be left upon another of the brave buildings which they 

1 Ant. xv. 11 § 3 ; xix. 6 § I. 


beheld. How speedily that came to pass we shall have 
to record. If any pedantic literalist should say that 
even to this day stones of Herod's masonry are standing 
one upon another, we may be pedantically literal too, 
and say that these survivors are not stones which were 
' beheld ' by the disciples nor by anybody else till 
excavations of the foundations came to be painfully 
and laboriously made ; and moreover, they are the 
substructions at the west side, and therefore equally 
invisible to the disciples who at the moment were on 
the east of the building. 

But these puerilities are out of place in face of a 
discourse so profound as that which the disciples were 
now to hear. Passing up the slope of Olivet they 
perhaps remained silent in contemplation of the 
amazing announcement they had just heard. Arrived 
at the brow of the hill opposite to the Temple they 
turned to look at the building before the road to 
Bethany would take them out of sight of it. Then 
they made further inquiry of the Master. ' When, 
therefore, shall these things be ? ' ' What shall be the 
sign when these things are about to come to pass ? ' 
Their minds were slowly accommodating themselves 
to the appalling outlook, and were prepared for further 
details. It hardly needed supernatural vision to 
answer those questions. The pre-vision of a statesman 
was sufficient to forecast the outcome of the historic 
situation then existing. But the Master's vision goes 
further and deeper than the statesman's, and His reply 
to the questions is called apocalyptic because we our- 
selves even now cannot fathom its whole depth and 
still have to wait for its ultimate fulfilment. Just as 
all the grief of all the world is summarized in the eyes 


of Leighton's figure in his picture of ' The Last Watch 
of Hero,' and not merely the particular grief of one 
woman, so the whole conflict of the Church is depicted 
in these words of Jesus, and not merely the impending 
overthrow of the Temple at Jerusalem. How truly 
a part of His prophecy was fulfilled in a.d. 70 we all 
by this time know. But it has come true in numberless 
other manifestations of that dire conflict with dark- 
ness and the powers of darkness which He foreknew 
who said, ' I am not come to send peace on earth, but 
a sword.' The first and most terrible act in that age- 
long drama was about to appear within the next few 
days. That every age has persecuted its prophets 
may be a lesson of history, but no age and no genera- 
tion ever had a Prophet so well worth persecuting as 
this one, and nowhere before or since has the work 
been so thoroughly done. 


IN the meagre account which is all the Gospels give 
of the arrest and trial of Jesus, that crisis seems 
to burst upon us rather suddenly and unexpectedly. 
Jesus Himself had known that the current had for 
months been setting in that direction, but it was 
nevertheless an undercurrent — an undercurrent daily 
gathering strength which was not visible on the sur- 
face. The causes of it are not difficult to recognize. 
Jesus had freely and openly denounced the sins of the 
rich and the great ; He had exposed the true character 
of the men who were regarded as the leaders of religion ; 
He had espoused the cause of the common people ; 
He had raised Lazarus to life from the dead, thus 
shattering the teaching of the Sadducees as to the 
resurrection and so far destroying the influence of 
that party in the State — the party then in power; 
in short, He was a dangerous character, to be got rid 
of at all costs and as quickly as possible. But though 
this had become the settled determination of the Jewish 
authorities, the difficult question for them was how to 
carry their determination into effect with some show 
of legality. If personal hatred towards Him could 
have been made the basis of a prosecution, there would 
have been no difficulty whatever. But envy was hardly 



a matter which could be urged in legal procedure. To 
formulate charges which a Jewish court could con- 
stitutionally recognize was the embarrassing problem 
for the rulers. And behind that was a still further 
difficulty. The Jewish Sanhedrin had no longer the 
power to carry out a capital sentence without the con- 
firmation of the Roman Government. Suppose, then, 
they should be able to get evidence enough of a sort 
to secure His condemnation by the Sanhedrin, they 
would still have to face the problem of presenting 
evidence to convince the Roman governor. And this 
must be of quite another character. The purpose was 
definite enough, but the way to make it effectual was 
by no means clear. It was not in this case ' the sight 
of means to do ill deeds' that made 'the ill deed done.' 
The first move, the arrest of Jesus, seems to have 
been effected by a combination of the forces of the 
Temple and of the Roman garrison. Representations 
must have been made simultaneously to the chief 
Captain of the Temple and to the officer in charge of 
the contiguous Roman garrison of Antonia, to the effect 
that the now impending commemoration of the Pass- 
over would not pass without a rising of the people 
unless this leader of sedition were arrested beforehand. 
The Jewish rulers, of course, knew perfectly well that 
sedition had never been fostered by Jesus, though the 
country was full of it, but it suited their purpose to 
misrepresent matters to the Roman officer and to the 
Temple police. The large influx of people to the feasts 
had quite recently given rise to many riots, and the 
Roman garrison had been reinforced from Caesarea 
with the express purpose of preserving the peace of the 
city during this Passover. It was for the garrison a 


time of some anxiety and apprehension. Its Com- 
mander was hardly to blame for acting upon a possible 
suggestion from the Jewish rulers that a descendant 
of the Jewish royal house was about to effect a rising. 
Certain it is that some of His adherents and admirers 
wished Him to do so, and that was what the triumphal 
entry into Jerusalem, a few days before, was held to 
mean. There had been times when plots were made 
to take Him by force and proclaim Him King (John 
vi. 15). So it came to pass that on the eve of the 
preparation for the feast, by the light of the Passover 
moon, Jesus was arrested by a cohort of soldiers and 
by a mob of Temple officers carrying swords and 
staves, in the seclusion of the little garden of Geth- 
semane, on the lower slope of Olivet, where they found 
Him at prayer and carried Him off to the Temple 
precincts to await the dawn. It appears from His 
earlier visit there after midnight that this was one of 
the nights in which the Temple gates were opened 
after midnight, and so the whole area was brilliantly 
illuminated ; and none were admitted into the side- 
entrance but those concerned in the trial. 

Through what remained of the night some vivid 
scenes were witnessed in Solomon's Portico. The 
first of these shows Peter, now recovered from his first 
fear and flight, standing outside the Temple enclosure, 
at the Great Gate numbered 8, opening into the Court 
of the Gentiles. Here he is found by John, who had 
evidently gone out, now and again, to see if any of his 
brother apostles were there. Seeing Peter, he spoke 
to the doorkeeper, a trusty servant-maid placed there 
with orders to admit only those known to be friends 
or acquaintances of her master. She knew John, and 


so allowed him to bring in Peter. John, alone of the 
evangelists, tells us this. He adds that as Peter passed 
in, the maid's suspicions were roused, and remembering 
her orders she said, ' Are you not a friend of the 
prisoner ? ' To this he gave a curt and instant denial. 
Some servants and officers had by this time lighted 
a charcoal fire in the chilly hours before the dawn, in 
what the A.V. of Luke xxii. 55 calls ' the midst of 
the hall.' Jesus had been conveyed into the High 
Priest's court of first instance, the door of which 
opened into the great Portico, opposite the place where 
the fire was burning on the floor, the night being a 
cold one (John xviii. 18). The arrest of so remarkable 
a man was naturally the topic of animated conversation. 
In the ruddy glow of the fire, maidservants of the 
High Priest mingled with the rest, maidservants whom 
the High Priest had brought with him to supply in 
some fashion the knowledge of who were and who were 
not of his party. Of the disciples who had followed 
Jesus from the garden, John had gone into the court 
of the High Priest, i.e. the lesser Sanhedrin Hall, by 
special permission, he being again among the number 
of those who were known to the doorkeeper. Peter, 
however, remained in the Portico, and presently was 
attracted to the group around the fire, not having 
John's privilege of admission to the hall. When 
seated with others on the floor of the Portico another 
maidservant at once began to ply Peter with questions 
as to whether he too was a disciple, and others of the 
group joined in the cross-examination. Peter, un- 
manned by anxiety and fatigue and little prepared to 
resist the banter of these people at such a moment, 
began to yield, to temporize, to take refuge in flight. 


The Gospel of Mark, the one most intimate with 
events in Peter's life, distinguishes two cock-crowings 
where the others mention only one — the last. Thus it 
seems the admonition and reminder occurred during 
the process as well as at the end of the denial. Mark 
indicates that the first cock-crow was not the one 
heard by Peter as he stood or sat by the fire. Feeling 
uneasy under the questioning of so many hostile eyes, 
' he went out into the porch.' This porch was a small, 
covered portico just within the gateway and standing 
upon pillars. Beneath it were the steps that led to 
the court of Annas. The lower half was free of these, 
and possibly it was in this little square of twelve feet 
that Peter stood, away from all his fellow-men, when 
there fell upon his ears the earlier of the two warnings. 
Just at that moment a cock-crow was heard from the 
quarter of the Temple where these birds were retained 
for sacrifice ; the signal of approaching day for others, 
but the admonition of something quite different in the 
ears of Peter, ' Verily I say unto thee, that to-day — 
this night — thou shalt before the cock crow twice, 
thrice deny Me.' It was while he stood aloof in the 
porch that ' another maid,' not the one who admitted 
him, saw him as she was passing towards the fire, and 
said to them that stood there, ' This man was also With 
Jesus.' A general cross-questioning now ensued of 
which we catch the echoes in Peter's repeated, ' Man, 
I am not,' ' Woman, I know Him not.' This was his 
second denial. 

While engaged in this wordy warfare Peter would 
naturally, to brazen out the matter, re-enter the circle 
of people around the fire and, sitting down gloomily, 
would speak as little as possible in his treacherous 


Galilean accent. An hour or so passed thus. By this 
time the examination of Jesus in the court of Annas 
was over. As the people by the fire waited for the 
opening of the Temple gates at sunrise, another wordy 
wrangle took place in the Portico cloister, provoked 
by the fact that the prisoner had been found guilty in 
the first trial. One man in particular asserted that he 
had seen Peter in the garden. He had reason to know 
that, for Peter had cut off his kinsman's ear with a 
drawn sword. The evidence was now so cumulative 
that Peter's only hope of escape from arrest seemed to 
him to lie in the use of such violent language as might 
convince his hearers. As he began to curse and to 
swear the cock crew once more. Peter was looking 
directly into the court where stood the Master he had 
denied. ' And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter.' 
Peter, heartbroken, went out and wept bitterly. 

But what was going on in the High Priest's court 
meanwhile ? The preliminary inquiry there was no 
doubt formal and was held to fill up the time till dawn. 
Annas, who presided, was not strictly a High Priest at 
all at this time. He had formerly held the office for 
eight or nine years, but had been deposed by the 
procurator in the year a.d. 15, and his son-in-law, 
Caiaphas, was now really the High Priest. But though 
Annas had lost his office he had not lost all his power, 
as the Jews deemed the anointing still effective, and 
in a trial so irregular throughout as was that of Jesus, 
one additional irregularity here hardly calls for notice. 
Moreover, as Annas was not really High Priest, so 
this court of his was not the official court of the Sanhe- 
drin — the hall Gazith — but a minor chamber. What- 
ever was done in this minor court and by this ex- 



High Priest must be regarded as done on behalf of 
Caiaphas and subject to revision by the Sanhedrin. 

The night of the preliminary trial before Annas was 
the one before the slaying of the Passover lamb. The 
next night, that of the slaying, would find the Temple 
thronged with people. This night, however, the courts 
would be now deserted by all its late attendants 
except those who were concerned in the arrest and its 
sequel, and the maids and officers who were guarding 
the entrances. That a trial of any sort should proceed 
in the night-time was an irregular procedure. In fact, 
the whole story is so abnormal that it were idle to 
expect to make the several narratives agree with any 
legal precedent. What appears certain is that a meet- 
ing of the minor assembly of the Sanhedrin was held, 
with Annas presiding. If any regard was had to 
formal procedure there would be twenty-three mem- 
bers present at the inquiry. Annas, the president, was 
probably the usual president here, holding this office, 
by the ecclesiastical fiction that a man once a High 
Priest was always a High Priest. So we find repeatedly 
that, while Caiaphas presided over the supreme court 
of the Sanhedrin, Annas presided over the minor court. 
The function of this minor court in the present instance 
was analogous to the magistrate's inquiry in English 
criminal charges, an inquiry which may or may not 
lead to a trial before a judge at Assizes. This lesser 
Sanhedrin is the lower court, called 'the Council' in 
Matthew x. ij, Mark xiii. 9, and ' the Judgment ' in 
Matthew v. 21-2. The Mishna says that there were 
two of these courts in Jerusalem (Sanhedrin xi. 2), thus 
supporting the history of the trial. 

At this point it is necessary to correct an idea to 


which the, English Authorized Version of the Bible 
has given wide currency that it was to the residence 
of Annas that Jesus was taken. St. Luke certainly 
does say that ' they brought Him unto the High 
Priest's house.' It is not, in this passage, a question 
whether ' palace ' or ' court ' is the right translation, 
for here the word is undoubtedly ' house,' oTkos. 
But as a matter of fact it is not possible that ' house ' 
here should mean ' residence.' The word has no such 
restricted meaning in Greek any more than it has in 
English, and it is perfectly legitimate to interpret 
Luke's use of the word by reference to the parallel 
passages in the other Gospels. The 'house ' was the 
High Priest's official court within the Hieron. 

The initial difficulty in the court of Annas seems to 
have been the lack of evidence against the prisoner, a 
difficulty that must have been fatal in any trial worthy 
of the name. The verdict was already assured, and 
there can be no doubt that Annas was prepared to 
pronounce sentence also, if that had been in his power. 
The only things lacking were the power, the witnesses, 
and the evidence. ' The chief priests and the council 
sought witness against Jesus to put Him to death ; 
and found it not. For many bare false witness against 
Him, and their witness agreed not together.' The 
one piece of evidence which could be relied upon at all 
to support the anticipated verdict was the saying of 
Jesus about destroying the Naos and building it again 
in three days. Here was certainly a suggestion of 
something subversive of the most sacred authority 
and constitution of the Jews at its central point. That 
Jesus had not spoken of the Temple at all but of His 
own body was ignored, or perhaps even not remembered 


or understood. That Jesus had the divine right to 
speak thus of the Temple and all it stood for was 
precisely the thing that was denied, and hence the 
claim to that divine right was held to be blasphemy. 
So the Court made the most of that solitary piece of 

Two or three witnesses were required by law for the 
conviction of a prisoner, and these were not to be had. 
The question being as to whether the Man now on his 
trial had said that He would destroy the Temple and 
build it again in three days, as reported by Matthew, or 
as other witnesses testified that He said He would 'build 
another Temple made without hands,' as reported by 
Mark (xiv. 58). Here is where a serious discrepancy 
occurred, and the witnesses could not be made to 

Technically the judgment arrived at was no judg- 
ment at all. The Sanhedrin had made rules for 
judicial procedure which entirely invalidated the 
proceedings before Annas. It had enacted that the 
judging of a false prophet could only be by the San- 
hedrin itself, and, further, that no trial was to begin 
in the night. Both these regulations had been ignored 
in the test trial before Annas, but it was easy to 
correct matters by bringing Jesus before the Court of 
Caiaphas at sunrise. In the matter before it there was 
no desire for anything more than a formality in this 
Court or any other Jewish Court. The only aim was so 
to represent the matter to the Roman governor that no 
technicality of a previous hearing should hinder the con- 
firmation of the capital sentence which was practically 
determined before any semblance of a trial took place. 

As soon, therefore, as the Temple gates were thrown 


open in the morning a hasty assembly of the full 
Sanhedrin took place, before Caiaphas, in the hall 
Gazith appropriated to its use. In the case of pro- 
ceedings so confused and irregular it is not surprising 
to find some corresponding variation in the records. 
But it appears that the inquiry before Caiaphas was 
not a repetition of that before Annas. To supplement 
the case as reported by the Court of Annas an attempt 
was made to incriminate the prisoner by evidence from 
His pwn lips. ' I adjure Thee by the living God,' said 
the High Priest, 'that Thou tell us whether Thou 
be the Christ, the Son of God.' This was a mode of 
procuring evidence which appears to have had some 
sanction in Jewish law, 1 and so Jesus felt Himself 
under obligation to make some reply. Such reply 
could only be a truthful one. The reply that He made 
was held to be conclusive against Him. ' He hath 
spoken blasphemy : what further need have we of 
witnesses ? ' 'He is worthy of death,' said the Court 
forthwith by its vote. ' Then did they spit in His face 
and buffet Him : and some smote Him with the palms 
of their hands,' assailing Him the while with coarsely 
uttered sarcasm. So this travesty of a trial ended, and 
Jesus, still bound, was sent to Pilate for further trial. 
Probably this second inquiry was of the briefest, so 
that by the time Pilate was likely to be astir the Jews 
were quite ready to prosecute their prisoner before 
him. To gain the Roman confirmation for their 
verdict was now the one thing needful. 

It is not improbable that the trial of Jesus was the 
last that took place within the precincts of the Temple. 
There is no mention of the Temple in connection with 

1 The indications of it are to be found in Leviticus v. I, I Kings viii. 31, 
Proverbs xxix. 24, 1 Samuel xiv. 24-6. 


the prosecution of Stephen a few years later, though 
Paul stood before it at the command of Rome (Acts 
xxiii. i). Originally the Sanhedrin had the power to 
pronounce sentence of death absolutely, and the 
extreme penalty might take the form of stoning, 
burning, beheading, or strangling. Crucifixion was 
never a Jewish mode of execution, but was intro- 
duced by the Romans. On the curtailment by the 
Romans of Jewish civil power, the Sanhedrin felt so 
deeply the national humiliation that it declined to 
meet longer in its beautiful hall, and met henceforth 
in one of the rooms near the East Gate of the Temple, 
a room called Hanoth. The Rabbinic tractate Shabbath 
(f. 51) states that this transfer took place forty years 
before the destruction of the Temple, a date which 
coincides with the trial of Jesus. The difficulty which 
the Jews were about to find in obtaining the con- 
firmation of Pilate for their sentence of Jesus may very 
naturally have served afterwards to give emphasis to 
their sense of the humiliation of their native Court. 
The Mishna, of the second century, referring to the 
hall Gazith, speaks of it as a place for judicial dis- 
crimination of the fitness of candidates for the priest- 
hood (Middoth v. 4). This, of course, was not a matter 
which Rome desired to meddle with, and it may be 
that this and the like inquiries had come to be the 
principal use to which the hall was latterly applied. 

We now return to the narrative. If, as we have 
assumed, the Roman garrison had been united with 
the Jews in the arrest on the previous evening, Pilate 
would be quite prepared to find that his judicial ser- 
vices were required in the morning. In fact, the day 
which that morning ushered in was annually the most 


anxious for him in the whole year's administration of 
Judaea. It was the day which saw the culmination of 
that Feast of the Passover which always crowded 
Jerusalem to excess with excited Jews from all parts 
of the Empire, a day eminently liable to spontaneous 
outbursts of disrule in any case, but in this case liable 
to a revolt which might assume something of the pro- 
portions of a revolution. Pilate, then, and the garrison 
would no doubt be alert early that morning in the 
fortress of Antonia, hard by the northern boundary of 
the Temple grounds. The Jews had been alert all the 
night so as to get their empty but necessary pre- 
liminaries over by daybreak. Their greatest under- 
taking was now to begin. The trial was to be trans- 
ferred from them to the Roman governor, from the 
Temple to the '■ pretorium.' A quite new set of charges 
would have to be brought against their prisoner. It 
was all very well to talk in the Sanhedrin about de- 
signs upon the Naos, about blasphemous claims to 
Messiahship, and other charges of that ecclesiastical 
sort, but that line of prosecution would be utterly 
ineffectual before Pilate. Rome concerned itself about 
none of these things, as Gallio afterwards showed, and 
they knew that it was so. The thing now was to make 
charges which Pilate would listen to. So we read about 
vague accusations that Jesus stirred up the people 
against Rome, perverted the nation, forbade to give 
tribute to Caesar, made Himself out to be Christ a King. 
In reality they had not the smallest fault to find with 
Jesus on any of these counts. Nay, further, it was 
precisely because He had done none of these things 
that the Jews hated Him. If He had used His in- 
fluence with the people to inflame them against Rome 


they would have looked more kindly upon Him as a 
patriot. But they knew quite well that He had re- 
peatedly and emphatically declined to do anything 
of the kind, and had always maintained that His 
Kingdom was not of this world, If therefore it had 
been difficult to get witnesses in the native Court to 
support the ecclesiastical charges, it would, of course, 
be very much more difficult to procure evidence for 
these trumped-up civil charges before Pilate. More- 
over, they must have foreseen that Pilate would be 
astute enough to see through the hollowness of the 
whole business. He was not the purblind official to be 
deceived by a parade of enthusiasm for the Empire 
on the part of Jewish leaders and people. Apparently 
the only hope of the Sanhedrin lay in the prospect 
that they might by some means or other convince 
Pilate of at least one thing, namely, that for the peace 
of the province it would be well to get rid of Jesus by 
whatever pretext might seem least foolish in his own 
eyes. That Jesus was an occasion of unrest in the 
province was beyond a doubt ; Pilate, they hoped, 
would at all events recognize that ; and the rest would 
follow. Of one outstanding historical fact neither he 
nor they could be ignorant or forgetful. It was that, 
some years before, the son of Herod the Great had 
been deposed and banished to Gaul, because he could 
not manage, as did his father, to govern the Jews 
without repeated appeals to Rome. Archelaus had 
been now for many years living at Vienne on the 
Rhone in poverty and obscurity — as afterwards did 
Herod, the Tetrarch, in the same state at Lyons ; and 
Pilate had no wish to join them. Yet to Gaul he 
ultimately came, and in the same character as they. 


WE find ourselves therefore, in the early hours 
of the morning after the arrest of Jesus, 
following Him into the Castle of Antonia to take His 
trial before Pilate, the Roman governor. The sight 
of the prisoner led away thus in bonds brings the 
remorse of the chief tool of the arrest to a crisis. Judas 
probably had calculated that he could earn his thirty 
pieces of silver without doing much harm to anybody. 
He did not imagine the Master would allow Himself 
to be arrested. Jesus had hitherto resisted or evaded 
attempts to arrest Him and would no doubt do so 
again. To his thinking the authorities would be 
duped as usual. But the past twelve hours have proved 
that it is he himself who is the dupe. He makes a 
desperate attempt now to undo what he has done. 
He is even willing to forfeit his fee. Rushing to the 
chief priests and elders he offers to return the silver. 
' I have betrayed the innocent,' he passionately de- 
clares to them. They are no longer prepared to treat 
with him. He has served their purpose, and his 
present regrets are entirely his own affair — so they 
contemptuously inform him. Their cool and callous 
indifference is the last maddening blow to this un- 
happy man. He casts the money at them there in the 



Temple, casts it from the Hieron with impetuous fury 
into the very Naos itself, and then goes out and hangs 
himself, leaving the authorities to decide for themselves 
what to do with the unhallowed money which they 
might gather up from the pavement beside the altar. 

By this time Jesus is in the presence of Pilate. If 
the trial before the Sanhedrin had been the merest 
travesty of justice, the trial before Pilate was hardly 
so much as a travesty. Not even the semblance of 
justice was invoked this time. Pilate evidently did 
not regard himself as an administrator of justice in this 
instance at all. He could not do so, as he knew that 
the prosecution was prompted by envy alone. He was 
simply the officer responsible to the Empire for the 
peace of his province, and what he was aiming at was 
the nearest way to that goal, the line of least resistance. 
To keep these amazing Jews quiet was his one purpose. 
The one thing necessary was to ascertain how that 
might be done most readily. 

His first embarrassment arose from the fact that 
these preposterous Jews would not come into the 
pretorium on that particular day for fear that some 
particle of leaven might lurk there and so they might 
be ceremonially disqualified for participation in the 
impending national festival. He therefore goes out 
to them in the barrack enclosure or yard. What 
accusation, he asks them, did they bring against their 
culprit ? Simply that He was a bad and a seditious 
man, said they ; was it not a sufficient accusation 
that they had brought him to Pilate ? Well, if He's a 
bad man, why don't you deal with Him yourselves 
according to your own law ; why do you want the 
Roman power to intervene ? Just because we cannot 


ourselves put Him to death, replied the ingenuous 
Jews. Ah, then, that was the situation, thought 
Pilate ; they want the Man to be crucified ; I have at 
least discovered so much. The case was evidently 
growing serious in spite of the fact that Pilate knew 
that envy was at the bottom of it, and that it was a 
trumped-up charge, made by priests jealous for their 
own caste and system. 

Thereupon he goes back to his culprit inside. He 
will see what he can make out concerning the Man 
Himself. ' So you regard Yourself as the King of the 
Jews, do you ? ' Jesus answered, ' Sayest thou this 
of thyself, or did others tell it thee concerning Me ? ' 
Evidently the Man is going to examine him, not he the 
Man. ' Myself ? Am I a Jew, that you should imagine 
me to have any thought about such things ? Of 
course it is Thine own people that have told me so. 
Now what hast Thou to say about it ? ' Admitting 
the charge — this is ' the good confession ' of 1 Timothy 
vi. 13 — Jesus began to tell Pilate what His Kingdom 
really was. The soil was not receptive for the seeds 
of the Kingdom of Heaven to lodge in, but the words 
made an impression. Pilate goes back to the Jews in 
the courtyard and assures them that he finds no fault 
in the Man. The Man is reticent and self-possessed, 
has apparently no sort of political aims, and is quite 
harmless. But no impression on the crowd is made 
by this report. 

Then a new idea occurs to Pilate. There is an old 
custom by which a prisoner was released on this 
particular day as an act of imperial clemency. He 
will therefore release Jesus to them. Will not that be 
the best way to settle the matter ? Apparently not. 


The line of least resistance does not lie in that direction. 
The Jews have their own line to take in that business 
and are definitely decided what it is to be. They want 
not this man, but Barabbas, an outlaw and murderer 
at present in Pilate's hands. ' Well, then, what am 
I to do with this King of the Jews ? ' The Jews have 
a policy ready if Pilate himself has none. ' Crucify 
Him ! ' said they. Pilate does not yet see his way to 
do that. But at all events they shall have Barabbas. 
Anything, in reason, to conciliate them. But what to 
do with Jesus ? That was still the problem. It occurs 
to him now that the Man is said to be a Galilean. 
Herod Antipas, the Jewish King of the Galilean 
province, happens to be in Jerusalem for the Passover. 
He will send the Man to Herod to deal with. Herod 
will at least be pleased with this civility, for there has 
not been much civility between the two men, and he 
may even do something that will put an end to the 
matter. So Jesus is sent off to Herod, the Jews 
following. Herod is delighted, for more reasons than 
one, but he can offer no solution. Or, rather, his 
solution is that Pilate must deal with the matter. 
In a little time Pilate has Jesus again on his hands, 
arrayed this time in robes of mock gorgeousness and 
with other marks upon Him of the insolent violence 
of Herod's soldiers. 

The matter is growing more serious. The morning 
is wearing away. There are other matters to attend 
to, and this matter is no nearer settlement than it was 
at daybreak. Perhaps it will satisfy these Jews if he 
follows Herod's lead and allows his own soldiers to 
scourge the Man. The soldiers are nothing loth. They 
conceive the witticism of adding a mock crown to the 


Man's other mock regal vestments — a crown of thorn 
twigs. Thus bedecked and scourged Pilate presents 
Jesus to the Jews in the courtyard. ' Just look at 
Him ! ' said Pilate, knowing the value of a little 
pleasantry when things are at high tension., But he 
found the Jews in no mood for trivial witticisms of 
that sort. They were bent on crucifixion and nothing 
less. There is no turning these dogged people from 
their purpose. He takes Jesus back into the pretorium. 
He even tries to get some hint or direction out of the 
prisoner Himself, and is amazed to find some mysterious 
and majestic power inherent in Him which at the same 
time irritates and baffles him. Of one thing he is 
certain, and that is that it would be a mistake to 
crucify this man. He holds further parley with the 
Jews. But these begin to throw out ugly suggestions. 
Their impatience is making them dangerous. ' If thou 
release this Man, thou art not Caesar's friend : every- 
one that maketh himself a King opposeth Caesar.' 
' We have no King but Caesar.' With the fate of 
Archelaus in his mind, that settled the matter. The 
cry was absurdly insincere and palpably false to their 
real thoughts about the Empire, but it was not the 
sort of situation to be reported in Rome by any chance. 
It looked as if he must defend his own position by 
sacrificing this Man after all. He saw that he prevailed 
nothing, but rather that a tumult was arising. Tumult 
was the very thing that he wished to avoid at all 
costs. All he could now do was literally and publicly 
to wash his hands of all responsibility for the blood of 
this righteous Man, and let matters take their course. 
' His blood be on us and on our children ' was the grim 
and terrible response of the Jews. 


By this time the noon is nearing. Dark clouds have 
begun to gather which portend a storm, as if Nature 
herself were moved by indignation at the morning's 
work. To avoid Rome's complicity in this judicial 
murder, Pilate orders his magisterial chair to be brought 
out and placed upon the Pavement — Gabbatha — at 
the south of the Temple enclosure. Thither he him- 
self goes with the prisoner, the multitude following. 
There, under the gathering clouds, in the open air, he 
makes one last appeal to the people for reason, and 
is answered once more by the ominous cry about loyalty 
to Csesar. There is, then, no hope. The line of least 
resistance is almost as terrible as the other possible 
line. But the alternative is for him a compromised 
position with Rome. Sentence of death is passed 
upon Jesus there and then, and, handed over to the 
soldiers, He is led away to be crucified. One last small 
victory Pilate determines to compass. He will write 
upon the cross the words ' The King of the Jews,' and 
will not allow any modifying ' He said ' to be added to 
the superscription. If Pilate had lived three centuries 
later it would not have been he who would have re- 
sented the still larger homage which Constantine 
offered to Jesus as King of the Roman State itself. 

By three o'clock all was over. Since the sentence 
was pronounced the storm had gathered over Jeru- 
salem with increasing terror of darkness. An earth- 
quake shook the very rocks beneath the Temple and 
threw open the tombs. When the visitation at last 
was ended it was found that the veil in the sanctuary 
of the Temple was rent in twain from the top to the 
bottom. The sacredness of that inner shrine of God's 
presence was for ever departed. Henceforth the 


1 ll 


A chair similar to this is pictured on the wall of a Roman magistrate's 
tomb at Pompeii 


sanctuary was to be that crucified body of the Son of 
God which in three days was to be raised up again. 

One matter remains to be emphasized. The death 
of Jesus was the work of the Jews themselves and not 
of the Romans. No Roman of authority had a hand 
in it but Pilate alone ; and he was but the tool in the 
hands of the clerical party. No Jew of the day would 
have wished to deny this. They would willingly have 
stoned Jesus without reference to Pilate at all if it 
had been in their power to do so. Moreover, Pilate 
had indicated as much in his whole procedure, as we 
have seen. His removal of the curule chair from the 
Roman garrison to the Jewish Gabbatha when sen- 
tence was to be pronounced was itself the visible and 
significant confirmation of the fact that the sentence 
was virtually the act of Judasa and not of Rome. 

An interesting, if subsidiary, by-way of history is 
opened up by the mention of the Roman governor's 
/3>jyua, or judgment-seat. Amid the ruins of Pompeii 
one of these curule chairs has been brought to light 
and a photograph of it is given here. Its arms were 
of ivory, each one being cut whole from an elephant's 
tusk. Time, however, had so damaged the ivory of this 
one that it has been removed, and other supports, of 
similar form, have taken their place. The elephant, 
the most powerful of beasts, aptly symbolized the 
power of the Empire. The ivory as material may 
be compared with Solomon's ' great throne of ivory ' 
(i Kings x. 18) . Such a chair as this was the essential 
token of the authority of a Roman provincial governor 
or judge. Sometimes the statue of the contemporary 
Emperor was placed upon it. In Rome itself it was 
the seat of the praetor when administering justice. 


Wherever the curule chair was placed there was a 
court of justice. No need of heralds or trumpeters, 
no requirement of elaborate and costly basilicas. 
This simple arrangement was peculiarly adapted to 
Eastern customs and traditions, where justice had 
always been administered in the open air, at the city 
gates, in presence of the passers-by. So the Roman 
governors often held their Courts in theatres and 
gymnasia, and sometimes by the roadside. Josephus 
gives several instances of this kind, two at least of 
them connected with this same Pilate. Of Philip, 
Tetrarch of the region beyond Jordan, Josephus says : 
' He used to make his progress with a few chosen 
friends ; his tribunal also, on which he sat in judg- 
ment, followed him in his progress ; and when anyone 
met him who wanted his assistance, he made no delay, 
but had his tribunal set down immediately, whereso- 
ever he happened to be, and sat down upon it, and 
heard his complaint ' (Ant. xviii. 4 § 6). 

In confirmation of these references it is most in- 
teresting to observe that the Pompeii chair (now in 
the museum in Naples) was made to fold up for con-> 
venience of carriage. It was no doubt just such a chair 
that was carried from the garrison to the Gabbatha at 
the condemnation of Jesus. 

We have no record of the procedure at the Passover 
which ensued, and are left to conjecture how much or 
how little it may have been affected by the events of 
the previous night and morning. Presumably little 
rather than much. The Crucifixion was for the Jews 
merely the purifying of the city and the getting rid 
of a troublesome character. Their old religious ob- 
servance would go on all the better without Him, they 


thought. They little knew that the event of that day 
had superseded their festival for the rest of time, nor 
that ' Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us ' was about 
to become the watchword of a better faith. 

On a point of time there is, however, an interesting 
coincidence. Matthew tells us — and he is uncontra- 
dicted — that ' about the ninth hour ' the end came 
for the sacred Sufferer. And Josephus tells us that the 
Passover lambs were slain ' from the ninth hour till 
the eleventh' (War vi. 9 § 3) . It was as the hour of 
3 p.m. struck, or was about to strike, on the great gong 
of the Temple, that the Jewish authorities went to 
Pilate and asked that the deaths of the convicted ones 
should be hastened, as time was passing, and until their 
bodies had ceased to defile the air of the city it was 
impossible for them to slay so much as a single lamb. 
Religion, what crimes have been committed in thy 
name ! 


WE do not again find the apostles in the Temple 
till some weeks after the Crucifixion. When 
they do reappear they are ' continually there.' Some- 
thing has happened to give them a new outlook and 
a new hope. The Naos, or Sanctuary, of which their 
Master had spoken, had been raised again the third 
day, and though now invisible, had given to them an 
assurance of the real presence of Jesus with them still. 
Something else is about to happen for the confirmation 
of their faith and for the amazement of the city. 

Seven weeks after the fatal Passover, and ten days 
after the Ascension, the Feast of Pentecost came to 
be observed, and with it a multitude of devout men 
' from every nation under heaven.' On that day the 
disciples were all together in one place. There may 
have been as many as a hundred and twenty of them, 
so little has the Crucifixion weakened or dispersed them. 
The only place which lends itself to the conditions 
of the narrative was Solomon's Portico. Where else 
would they be so likely to meet ? There was an upper 
room — possibly in the house of Barnabas— where the 
apostles were ' abiding,' i.e. eating and sleeping, and 
where some others joined them. But what upper room 
in Jerusalem, large enough for the story, was open to 



a band of despised and discredited people with no 
property ? Why, indeed, should they desire one when 
a Portico capable of holding thousands was free to them 
as it was to anybody else ? It was a place abhorred by 
loyal Jews, though compelled to cross its floor on 
entering the Beautiful Gate. All the more reason, 
therefore, to assume that Christians would be left 
there unmolested among the sheep and goats and the 
Gentile ' dogs.' For Christians it was quite enough of 
consecration that Jesus had walked and taught in 
that very court. When divine energy and presence 
should return to them, according to the promise ' ye 
shall receive power,' what better place for missionary 
preaching than there, among the throng of people ? 
During these ten days of expectation Luke closes his 
Gospel by telling us they were continually in the 
Temple, praising and blessing God. 

They had not long to wait. ' A sound as of the 
rushing of a mighty wind ' drew the multitude together 
in the direction of the disciples, and discovered them 
speaking with tongues as the Spirit gave them utter- 
ance. Amazed and perplexed, the people ask one 
another, ' What meaneth this ? ' ' Are not all these 
which speak Galileans ? ' ' Are they not followers of 
that crucified Galilean of seven weeks ago ? In any 
case, are they not unlettered provincials ? ' The only 
answer was the mocking one — which serves to cover the 
utter lack of a better — ' These men are filled with new 
wine.' At nine o'clock in the morning this was not 
likely to be true literally ; but in another sense it was 
truer than the mockers knew. 

It soon became apparent in Jerusalem that the 
Galjlean had not been done with on the Crucifixion day. 


Here were His disciples preaching Jesus as the Christ 
of prophecy and denouncing the lawless men who had 
crucified Him. More wonderful still, here were men 
by thousands willing to accept that view of the tragedy. 
The tide has turned again, as such popular movements 
are apt to do. Two phrases describe it : ' Fear came 
upon every soul ' and ' the believers had favour with 
all the people.' It was one of the golden moments of 
the new faith. 

When the festival had passed and the crowds left 
Jerusalem, the disciples resumed the methods of their 
Master as to daily teaching in the Temple. They seem, 
however, to have departed from His usage in one detail 
of it. They no longer taught throughout the Hieron, 
but only in the Portico. The Women's Court or 
Treasury appears no longer to have been used by 
them. We are not wholly in the dark as to possible 
reasons for this. The Essenes had been driven from 
it, and already during the lifetime of Jesus the Jews 
had agreed that any man confessing Him to be Christ 
should be excluded from religious fellowship. This 
would be enough to debar the apostles from the inner 
courts. It was now morally impossible for Christians 
to offer sacrifice or to participate in sacrificial feasts. 
In a word, they had ceased to be orthodox Jews and 
would be treated as Gentiles. Possibly they found an 
advantage in this exclusion, for while both Jews and 
Gentiles were to be encountered and taught in the 
Portico, Gentiles could not have been met with in the 

Two or three vivid incidents belong to this period. 
One day Peter and John were entering in at the 
principal eastern gate and were accosted there by a 


familiar lame beggar, whom they heal of his life- 
long disease. This wonder serves to attract the people 
to some fervid preaching by Peter for that day. So 
much so that our old acquaintances, Annas and 
Caiaphas, and the Captain of the Temple, seem to be 
apprehensive that the evil work of the last Passover 
may have to be done over again. 

At a later time a scheme of communal distribution 
of property among the believers is connected with the 
tragic death of two untruthful defaulters. It is 
probable that the double tragedy of Ananias and 
Sapphira happened on the very floor of the Gentile 
Portico. Till now ' they were all with one accord in 
Solomon's Portico,' with the result that outsiders left 
them to their own methods of worship. This is stated 
in the words, ' of the rest durst no man join himself 
to them, but the people magnified them,' as well they 
might do when God had given such power to the 
apostolic rebuke and sentence. 

These are examples of the movement which was the 
real history of the Temple in those times, little as they 
may have been so regarded at the moment. 

But the new life now begins to look further afield 
than the Temple court. Begun there, in the Court of 
the Gentiles, it begins to follow the track of the 
Gentiles. Persecution and dispersion accelerate the 
wider mission, especially the martyrdom of Stephen, 
a man full of the missionary spirit. Henceforth it will 
be only incidentally that we shall meet with Chris- 
tianity in our story of the Temple. ' The Most High 
dwelleth not in temples made with hands,' Stephen 
had said. The leader of Christianity for the coming 
generation was to be a man whose association with 


Christianity owed nothing whatever to Jesus' teaching 
in the Temple courts, nor indeed to any natural asso- 
ciation with Jesus on earth. This was Saul of Tarsus, 
once a member of the Sanhedrin Court, as he after- 
wards regretfully admitted when he said that he had 
voted there in favour of the capital punishment of 
Christians. 1 

The most memorable event in Paul's life of singular 
variety and exaltation came to him as he was praying 
in the Temple. It was an experience akin to that of 
Isaiah's vision there, when his lips were touched as 
with a live coal from off the altar. Paul's call to the 
apostolate did not come at his conversion, but in the 
trance into which he fell while praying in the Temple. 
He there saw Jesus, and from His lips received his 
commission as an apostle (Acts xxii. 17 f.). Fourteen 
years after its occurrence he gave a fuller account of 
this vision to the Corinthian Christians (2 Cor. xii. 1 f.). 

About this time (it would be in the year 38 or 39) 
a notable event of another kind is recorded. A certain 
busybody from Alexandria had advised himself to 
report to Caius Caesar, better known by his nickname 
of Caligula, that the Jews, alone among his subjects, 
thought it a dishonourable thing to erect statues in 
his honour ; whereupon the Emperor became very 
angry, sent a body of troops to Jerusalem, and gave 
their commander instructions that if the Jews would 
admit of his statue willingly they were to erect it in 
the Temple, but if they were obstinate he was to 
conquer them by war and then to do it. Ten thousand 
Jews went down to Ptolemais to meet this commander, 
Petronius, and set their view of the matter before him, 

1 Acts xxvi. 10. 


representing to him that he will only be able to trans- 
gress and violate the law of their fathers by first passing 
over their own dead bodies. They would not make 
war against Caesar, but they would throw themselves 
down upon their faces and stretch out their throats 
as men ready to be slain ; and this protest they made 
for forty days together, the tillage of their ground 
being neglected meanwhile. Touched by the force of 
these representations Petronius magnanimously made 
common cause with the Jews. Both he and Agrippa, 
now resident in Rome, made representations to 
Caligula, who appears to have vacillated thereupon. 
Ultimately Caligula's death relieved the situation, and 
the statue was not erected. 

In the recurrent collisions between Jerusalem and 
Rome the Jews did not always escape so fortunately. 
The Passover celebrations especially were an occasion 
of peril. The element of discord was obvious enough. 
What was for the Jews a time of peculiarly sacred 
association was for the Romans a time of greatly 
increased apprehension of tumult and disorder in the 
city. The Jews were naturally irritated at the obvious 
military alertness which pervaded their religious 
assembly, and the Romans, on the other hand, were 
perhaps too eagerly suspicious of occasions for unrest. 
It was as if a hostile military force were told off to 
attend a Church Congress at an English cathedral. 
One such collision arose soon after the appointment 
of Cumanus to be procurator in the year 49. Cumanus 
ordered that a regiment of the army should take their 
arms and stand in the Portico facing the Temple during 
the Passover celebration. One of the heathen soldiers 
was seen to perpetrate an act of gross indecency within 


the cloister. It is very true that the Jews were not 
keenly scrupulous of defilement of this Gentile court, 
but this was naturally more than even they could 
tolerate. It may have been that the soldier was merely 
a brutal animal who did not intend to offend anybody. 
The Jews, however, cried out that this impious action 
was done to reproach Jehovah Himself ; nay, some 
of them alleged that the soldier was instigated to his 
act by Cumanus, a suspicion which was of course 
absurd. So furious were the Jews that Cumanus 
augmented the armed forces in Antonia. Seeing this, 
the Jews fled in panic from the Temple, and a great 
number (Josephus says twenty thousand) were crushed 
to death in the narrow underground passages leading 
from the Temple to the city. 1 

The next affront to the Temple did not come from 
the Romans. A friendly potentate, the King Agrippa 
of Nero's time and of Acts xxv., was allowed to add to 
the lofty tower of the palace at Antonia a large dining- 
room which commanded a most delightful prospect. 
When the Jews found that in this room Agrippa could 
lie down and eat and thence observe what was done 
in the Temple, they resorted to the modern device of 
raising a high wall to block the view. The wall accom- 
plished its purpose and something more, for it inter- 
cepted a view which Festus, the then procurator, 
deemed necessary for governmental purposes. Festus 
ordered the wall to be pulled down, but the Jews argued 
that it was a part of their own Temple, built upon their 
own ground, and appealed to Nero. The appeal was 
successful and the wall was allowed to stand. Cherchez 
la femme is a motto which sometimes explains an 

1 For these passages and their steps and gates see chapter xxi. p. 257. 


extraordinary occurrence. Poppea, the wife of Nero, 
was a religious woman and a Jewess. This wall must 
have been almost if not quite the last portion of the 
Temple to be built. 

It must have been slightly before this time — in the 
year 58 — that St. Paul had an extraordinary experience 
during a visit to Jerusalem. For twelve or fourteen 
days he seems to have been the chief character in an 
amazing comedy of errors which came near to being 
a tragedy. We will recount the several acts of the 
drama as they are recorded by the historian Luke. 
St. Paul had been spending the twenty years since his 
conversion in preaching Christianity throughout Asia 
Minor to both Jews and Gentiles, but with special 
success among Gentiles. The Christian leaders in 
Jerusalem had never been quite enthusiastic about this 
mission to the Gentiles, and in any case they distinctly 
disapproved of allowing a marked severance of Chris- 
tianity from the Jewish faith. Judging solely from 
their own experience, they regarded Christianity as an 
outgrowth from the old Jewish stock, and were very 
jealous that this view of the matter should be definitely 
recognized. Now it was well known that St. Paul had 
taught in such fashion that his words might be legiti- 
mately interpreted as the emancipation of Christianity 
from Jewish leading-strings. The return of the apostle 
to Jerusalem was therefore regarded with some 
anxiety by the elders of the Christian Church there, 
as well as by himself. See his request to the 
Roman Christians for their prayers that his service 
of gifts for them in Jerusalem may be accepted of 
the saints (Rom. xv. 30 f.). 

On his arrival St. Paul at once rehearsed to the 


elders the things which God had wrought among the 
Gentiles by his ministry. They, when they heard it, 
glorified God and pocketed the missionary contribu- 
tions of the converts. Having done that, they pro- 
ceeded at once to discuss the vexed question of his 
orthodoxy and to propose a grotesque expedient. It 
was necessary, they argued, that Paul should exhibit 
his loyalty to Judaism by some significant act. They 
happened to have on hand just at that moment four 
men who were about to fulfil some Nazirite vow 
characteristic of the Jewish faith. Why should not 
Paul show himself a good Jew by joining himself to 
this group and for twenty-four hours sharing their 
vow ? To the great satisfaction of the Jerusalem 
elders, Paul, always all things to all men in matters of 
secondary importance, undertook to do this, and the 
next day he attended in the Temple court with the 
other four men for this purpose. What led him to do 
a thing so alien to his own instincts he himself explains 
in a letter to the Corinthians. ' Though I was free 
from all men, I brought myself under bondage to all, 
that I might gain the more. To the Jews I became as 
a Jew that I might gain Jews.' If the policy seems to 
us moderns of the West to be a mistaken compromise, 
we may, at all events, admire Paul's subordination of 
all his personal predispositions to the one purpose of 
his life. 

During the seven days devoted to this curious piece 
of ancient ritual, the spectacle seems to have attracted 
the attention of certain non-Christian Jews from 
Proconsular Asia, who were not in the secret, and who 
found it increasingly difficult to guess what it all 
meant. They knew what Paul's teaching had been at 


Ephesus atid during his missionary travels. They were 
scarcely exaggerating it when they declared that this 
was the man that taught all men everywhere against 
the people and the law and the Temple. What, then, 
was he doing in the court of the Nazirites, and who 
were these men who were ostensibly fulfilling with him 
a Nazirite vow ? Slowly the conviction gained upon 
these Asiatic Jews that the whole thingwas an imposture 
and that the men were not Jews at all. For confirma- 
tion of this conviction they had seen Paul in the city 
in company with an undoubted Gentile from Ephesus, 
whom they were able to name. They had no doubt 
this Ephesian was one of the four men masquerading 
as Jews. Who the other three might be they knew not. 
To have brought even one Gentile across the Soreg 
which divided the Portico from the rest of the Temple 
was an enormity punishable by nothing less than the 
death of the culprit. A shout was uttered, Paul being 
in the Temple, ' Men of Israel, help ! ' The cry of 
profanation was raised, all the city was moved, and 
the people ran together. They laid hold on Paul and 
dragged him out of the Temple and shut its doors upon 
him. Evidently they were prepared to repeat the 
martyrdom of Stephen, but they were in no mind to 
have the Temple needlessly defiled with a dead body. 
By this time the garrison is astir, and soldiers arrive 
upon the scene just in time to rescue the culprit from 
summary vengeance. The uproar was such that the 
military officer could make nothing of their conflicting 
cries. So Paul is carried off to Antonia, followed by a 
mob so eager that he is lifted off his feet by the pressure 
in the narrow stairway of the castle. The ominous cry, 
' Away with him ! ' must have reminded some then 


present of a similar cry in the case of Jesus a quarter 
of a century before. 

At the entrance to the castle, where at last the on- 
coming of the mob was checked, Paul attempted to 
explain to the officer the gross mistake which had led 
to all this uproar. He speaks in the popular Greek 
dialect which was then the common speech of the 
Empire. At the sound of the Greek speech a still 
further grotesque mistake comes to light. ' Dost thou 
know Greek ? ' said the officer ; ' art thou not then the 
Egyptian leader of four thousand assassins ? ' Paul 
knew what it was to become all things to all men. He 
had, wisely or unwisely, undertaken to appear in the 
character of a Jewish devotee, but even he could hardly 
have foreseen that he would be thought to fill the part 
of the fanatic leader of the ' men of the dagger,' whose 
lawlessness had recently been a terror to the neigh- 
bourhood. After hurried explanations the prisoner is 
allowed to speak to the people, as he stood there upon 
the stairs, silence having at last been secured. The 
sound of their native Aramaic Hebrew dialect seems 
to have pacified the Jewish rabble for the moment. 
They listen to him while he tells the real story of his 
life down to the beginning of the mission to the Gen- 
tiles. The very word ' Gentiles ' was sufficient to 
arouse the uproar afresh, and the officer withdrew his 
prisoner into the castle. There the Tribune has a last 
astonishment. He learns that this amazing man is 
actually a freeborn Roman citizen. In the end, 
therefore, Paul was sent to Rome to take his trial. 

While waiting at Rome during two tedious years for 
his trial to come on, Paul wrote some letters which are 
still extant. One of them was to be read by those very 


Christians in Ephesus of whom Trophimus was one, 
the man whose presence with him in the streets of 
Jerusalem had been the occasion of all the trouble. 
No wonder, then, that in telling them that in Christ 
there is no distinction of Jew and Gentile, he makes 
reference to that fatal ' middle wall of partition ' in the 
Temple, the crossing of which was forbidden on pain 
of death to every Gentile. ' Christ has broken that wall 
down,' he writes ; ' Christ has ended in His own person 
the hostility which it symbolizes, He has abrogated 
the legal code of separating ordinances.' Whether 
this incriminating letter was used against him at the 
trial we do not know. It is touching to read that of all 
the Asiatic witnesses for the trial, no one remained to 
take the apostle's part, but all forsook him. Even 
Trophimus was left at Miletum sick, and with the 
cardinal witness absent the case was likely to go 
against the prisoner. 

The position of this Soreg (or /neaoroixov rod <f>pay/j.ov 
to use Paul's description of it) is conspicuous in the 
Plan which accompanies this volume, and its structure 
will be described in detail in the second part of the 
present treatise. Josephus mentions it in his descrip- 
tion of the Temple (War v. 5 § 2) thus : ' When you 
go through these first cloisters unto the Second Court 
of the Temple, there was a partition (SevQaKTos) made 
of stone all round, whose height was three cubits, and 
its construction very elegant ; upon it stood pillars, 
at equal distances from one another, declaring the 
law of purity, some in Greek and some in Roman 
letters, that " no foreigner should go within that 
sanctuary." ' A later reference (War vi. 2 § 4) indicates 
that the Romans had given their sanction to this 


prohibition ; ' Have you not,' said Titus, ' put up 
this partition wall before your sanctuary ? Have we 
not given you leave to kill such as go beyond it, even 
though he were a Roman ? ' This may refer to some 
special and earlier decree ; for, as we have already 
had occasion to notice, the Sanhedrin could not inflict 
ordinary capital punishment without the confirmation 
of Rome in each case, though it is possible that sum- 
mary vengeance on those who profaned the Temple 
was legally sanctioned. 

The story of recent excavations into historical sites 
is a fascinating study. We have already been in- 
debted, in this series of monographs, to discoveries in 
Babylonia. More recently the dry soil of Egypt has 
given up some of its treasures — papyri and tablets, — 
which have proved that the Greek of the New Testa- 
ment was actually the commonest of all dialects 
throughout the Roman Empire. It is distressing to 
learn that want of funds is likely to hinder further 
research within the now very limited time in which the 
great engineering works on the Nile will have rendered 
the soil so humid that the still buried papyri must 
needs perish and be lost for ever. The same lack of 
income embarrasses the Palestine Exploration Fund. 
But the work already done by that Fund' is of the 
utmost importance and value. It has seldom fallen 
to the lot of the excavator to make such a thrilling 
discovery as was made by M. Clermont Ganneau in 
Jerusalem in May, 1871. The story is told, in one of 
the publications of the Fund, thus : ' There lies close 
to the Via Dolorosa, and not far from the north-west 
angle of the Haram (it is on the left-hand side of the 
Via Dolorosa, opposite the Bab el Aksa), a small 


Moslem cemetery. Here is a gateway. While examin- 
ing the walls, step by step, M. Ganneau observed two 
or three Greek characters on a block forming the angle 
of the wall on which was built a small arch. The 
characters were close to the surface of the ground. 
M. Ganneau proceeded to scrape away the soil in hopes 
of finding them continued. More characters appeared, 
and when the stone was finally cleared, the discoverer 
had the gratification of reading an inscription in 
Greek, in seven lines. The characters are monumental 
in size and present the appearance which one would 
expect in an inscription of the period. The transla- 
tion is : — 


The word translated * balustrade ' is Josephus' 
word SetyctKTos, with a slight variation in the spelling. 
There cannot be the smallest doubt that this stone is 
one of those which formed the boundary in Herod's 
Temple beyond which no Gentile was allowed to 
penetrate. It must have been looked upon by Jesus 
and His disciples many times ; Trophimus the Ephe- 
sian probably knew it well ; and the thought of it and 
its companions (still waiting discovery) made a deep 
impression upon the mind and the teaching of St. 
Paul, besides being the occasion of a grave crisis, with 
lasting consequences in his life. 

Another actor in this drama of apostolic times was 
to disappear earlier than St. Paul. In a.d. 62 James, 
the leader of the Church at Jerusalem and the 


instigator of an attitude of compromise — not equality — 
towards the Gentile converts, was stoned to death by 
the Sadducean High Priest (the younger Ananus), and 
the Sanhedrin, during the interval when one procurator 
(Festus) was dead and his successor (Albinus) was but 
upon the road to arrive. This was James the Lord's 
brother and writer of the epistle which bears that 
name. Another James, brother of John the Evan- 
gelist, was beheaded by Herod Agrippa I, who was a 
strict observer of the law, and whose reign, as King 
of the Jews, was limited to a.d. 41-4. 


WE now arrive at the long-delayed completion 
of the Temple buildings. During more than 
eighty years the process of building had gone slowly 
on, with periods of absolute inactivity interspersed, 
and with at least one period, the stormy reign of 
Archelaus, in which there had been destruction instead 
of construction. The period of the completion was 
hardly less stormy. The Sicarii, the bandits and 
assassins of whom St. Paul for one brief moment had 
been supposed to be the leader, were at the height of 
their career of mischief, and were responsible for that 
state of sensitive apprehension which had become 
evident in those who were responsible for maintaining 
law and order in Jerusalem. Add to this that some 
servants of the High Priest had joined themselves to 
the boldest of the people and had taken away by 
violence the tithes of corn and fruit that belonged to 
the priests, beating such as would not comply with 
their violence at the very threshing-floors, in such 
fashion that there were priests who died for want of 
food. The country was filled with robbers, Josephus 

Of any solemn dedication of the completed Temple 
we have no record nor so much as any hint whatever. 
k 129 


The New Testament historians were by this time 
concerned with quite other matters. The focus oi 
their activity and interest was no longer the Temple 
at Jerusalem, but the great missionary enterprise 
which was actuated from Antioch and looked for 
nothing from Jerusalem but a very grudging acquies- 
cence, if not covert hostility. The selection of James, 
the brother of our Lord, as the first head of the Chris- 
tian College in Jerusalem was an official act of profound 
meaning and large consequence. He was not a Chris- 
tian during the ministry on earth of Jesus, and his 
epistle has no reference to the person or work of the 
Holy Spirit. It was ' certain who came from James ' 
who led the quarrel at Antioch between Peter and 
Paul (Gal.'ii. 12). 

The priestly and conservative party in the Church 
at Jerusalem first contended that no man could be a 
Christian who did not enter the Church through the 
door of Judaism, as they themselves had done, Beaten 
out of this position by the work and writings of Paul, 
they then, and for long, maintained that the inner 
sanctum of the Christian faith could be entered only 
by Jews or Jewish proselytes, in which attitude of 
mind we see the influence of the Temple architecture. 

While the early Church was engaged in a life-and- 
death struggle with this subtle and, to Gentile con- 
verts, degrading heresy, the New Testament writers 
have nothing to tell us about the completion of the 
Temple. Josephus, strangely enough, only mentions 
it incidentally. He has been telling us about so minor 
1 matter as the granting by the Sanhedrin of permission 
:o certain Levites to wear priestly garments of linen 
utherto worn only by priests, and he points out that 


this was contrary to the ancient laws. The next thing 
he notes is that above eighteen thousand workmen were 
out of employ in Jerusalem, and it occurs to him that 
this fact was to be accounted for in that ' now it was 
that the Temple was finished.' This would be in 
a.d. 64-5. Surely no great enterprise in the history 
of man ever had so tame a record of its completion. 
Christian writers were no longer interested in the 
building, and as for Josephus, he seems to have been 
oppressed by a sense of the futility of the whole affair 
of a Temple which in five years from its completion 
was to disappear from the face of the earth. Josephus 
was writing when not one stone of the building was 
left upon another. It is perhaps not to be wondered 
at that he ignores a consummation which was but 
the prelude to a fall. 

But what was to be done with the eighteen thou- 
sand unemployed ? The question has a very modern 
ring about it, and the solution of it was equally in 
harmony with modern expedients. Some public works 
must be set afoot. Why not demolish and rebuild the 
ancient eastern wall which, from the Kidron valley 
below, supported the cloisters of the Temple enclosure, 
and which was said to be as old as Solomon ? x The 

1 The Golden Gate — so named from the ' much thicker plates of gold ' 
with which its gates were covered in the time of which Josephus writes — 
stands at 1050 feet from the south-east angle of the Haram area. The 
retaining wall to the north of this gate consists of masonry differing from 
that to the south. Its finish is rougher and the stone of inferior quality. 
This change in the character of the masonry takes place at the point 1090 
feet from the south-east angle, and just where the prolongation of the 
scarp cuts the east wall. The stones above this have rustic bosses with 
great projections and differ from those to their south. 

As there is to this day no record of the fall of the wall, as feared by 
Herod's workmen, it is probable that what they meant was that the 
northern portion of the wall might fall if it were not rebuilt so as to be in 
harmony with the rest of the east wall. Men in search of a job are not 
usually over accurate in their estimates of what may happen. 


King, Agrippa, was shrewd enough to recognize that 
it was easy to demolish, but not easy to build ; and 
especially so when not the building but the wages 
would be the only stimulus to the work. So he denied 
the petitioners their request ; but he did not obstruct 
them when they desired that the streets of the city 
might be paved with white stone. Josephus is imagina- 
tive enough at times, but he does not allow himself to 
remark that those white pavements were soon to take 
on a ruddier hue. 

It was not only the Temple, but also the nation that 
was drawing near to its fall. After the mad attempt 
of Caligula, in the year 39, to force his statue into the 
Temple, the Jews had become more and more appre- 
hensive for the safety of their ancient faith. Among 
them were a body of Zealots who, with perhaps 
some remembrance of the Maccabean revolt against 
Antiochus Epiphanes, and with certainly no adequate 
appreciation of the very different conditions prevailing 
in their own time, found their opportunity to inflame 
the people against Rome and against those Jews, the 
Pharisees particularly, who were more zealous for the 
faith itself than for its protection against Roman 
Emperors. During the reign of Claudius (41-54) 
certain concessions had been made to the Temple 
authorities, concessions which Claudius evidently 
hoped might allay the unrest of the people. But the 
insurrectionary spirit had grown rather than abated 
during this reign. The people in Jerusalem found 
themselves more in sympathy with the anti-Herodian 
Zealots than with the Pharisees. It was an uprising 
against not only Rome, but against also the Jewish 
authorities, who seemed to them to be in no hurry to 


shake off the Roman dominion. Of course the local 
authorities were very well aware of the futility of any 
possible attempt to do so, but history has proved over 
and over again that counsels of moderation and of 
submission to the inevitable have very little force for 
the regulation of an oppressed or infuriated people. 
The Zealots soon had things going their own way ; 
and they were joined by the Sicarii, who, under the 
leadership of that Egyptian Jew who was not St. Paul, 
had one day collected a multitude of the common people 
to watch from the Mount of Olives the fall of the walls 
of Jerusalem at his command. In this state of affairs 
further concessions from Rome were, of course, hope- 
less. Instead, the garrison of the fortress Antonia had 
been reinforced, and the military captain there was 
in the state of alert apprehension of disorder which 
he discovered in his surmise about St. Paul already 
recorded. In a.d. 54 Nero had come to be Emperor, 
and in 60 Festus was appointed procurator, to be 
succeeded by Albinus in 62 ; but no change in the 
attitude of the people had come with change of rulers. 
So that by the time the Temple restoration was com- 
pleted Jerusalem was in a ferment of insurrection 
against Rome, and the country round was the scene 
of robbery and murder. It was certainly a wise 
policy to have found those eighteen thousand un- 
employed workmen something to do. Better to pave 
Jerusalem with white stones or Carrara marble than 
to have these men added to the forces of the Zealots. 
Josephus says there was no sort of wickedness that 
could be named but Albinus had a hand in it ; and 
then he goes on to say that his successor, Gessius 
Floras, did demonstrate Albinus to have been a most 


excellent person by comparison. It is clear, therefore, 
that with Nero as Emperor, Gessius Floras as pro- 
curator, and Jerusalem in a ferment against Rome, 
things were reasonably certain to go badly. Tacitus 
says that the patience of the Jews lasted till the arrival 
of Gessius Florus : and so does Josephus (Ant. xviii. i 
§ 6). Certainly their patience had not always been 
conspicuous, but now, at all events, it was at an end. 
The first outbreak, however, was not in Jerusalem, 
but at Csesarea. The citizens of Jerusalem for the 
moment restrained their passion, but it was Florus 
himself who acted there as if he had been hired to fan 
the war into a flame. He sent somebody to take 
seventeen talents out of the Temple treasure on the 
pretext that Caesar wanted them. An act even less 
insane than this would have been sufficient. The 
people were in confusion immediately, and ran together 
to the Temple with prodigious clamour. The Em- 
peror's sacrifices were refused at the altar. The war 
was begun. The soldiers of Florus descended upon 
the city. Some Jews were crucified ; others — men, 
women, and even children — were slain in more summary 
fashion to the number of about six hundred and thirty, 
Florus meanwhile actually trying to incite the people 
into further acts of rebellion. Berenice, the Jewish 
Queen of Chalcis, stood barefoot before the procurator 
to beseech him to spare her countrymen, and for answer 
saw them slain under her very eyes, and herself obliged 
to fly for safety to the palace. Nothing could produce 
even a temporary cessation of slaughter till the High 
Priests and others turned to the Jews themselves to 
beg them to provoke Florus no further, for fear lest 
the holy vessels of the Temple itself should be carried 


off. For further defence against such disaster the 
Jews again broke down the cloisters on those sides of 
the outer Temple which were contiguous with Antonia, 
in order to interrupt communication between the 
Temple and the castle. Upon this, Florus left the city, 
and something resembling calm was temporarily 

But no lasting peace was now possible. An ex- 
tribune, Neapolitanus, as Roman commissioner, was 
sent, with Herod, to make inquiry into the recent 
events in Jerusalem, but found the people incurably 
incensed against Florus. Neapolitanus even went so 
far in conciliatory policy as to offer in the Temple such 
worship as was permitted to a foreigner, and then 
departed to made his report. Herod also (this was 
Herod Agrippa II, King of Chalcis), with Berenice his 
sister, appeared in the palace of the Asamoneans 
(which was joined to the Temple by the bridge de- 
scribed in chapter xx.) and made an eloquent appeal 
to the Jews against continuing the war. The Jews 
were moved at the sight of a King and Queen in tears, 
but the utmost they would promise was that they would 
not fight against the Romans, but only against Florus, 
a distinction, of course, quite fatuous. Some of the 
more violently seditious even had the impudence to 
cast stones at Agrippa, who thereupon retired from 
the scene. A further attempt at conciliation was made 
by their leaders, who, together with the High Priests 
and the Pharisees, assembled the people before ' the 
brazen gate, which was that gate of the inner Temple 
which looked towards the sun rising ' (No. 7 on Plan) ; 
but still, not one of the innovators would hearken to 
what was said. So these men of power sent messengers 


to Floras and to Agrippa to ask for a suitable military 
guard for the city. Meanwhile they themselves held 
the western hills against the seditious Jews, who 
already had the lower city and the Temple in their 
power. The reinforcement of the small garrison of 
Antonia had already cost many lives. For seven days 
there was civil war, and burning wood intended for the 
altar was used to set fire to the house of the High 
Priest and the palace of Agrippa. Some of the High 
Priests went into vaults underground to conceal them- 
selves, and others fled, leaving victory with the sedi- 
tious. Even the Roman garrison itself was over- 
powered by the revolters, the city wall was under- 
mined, the High Priest was slain in a ditch, and public 
records were destroyed. 

Evidently the time was ripe for the Romans to 
interfere in this provincial revolt. Cestius Gallus, the 
governor of Syria, quickly arrived before the walls of 
Jerusalem with forty thousand soldiers in September, 
a.d. 66. The Jews left even their Feast of Tabernacles 
to resist this new invasion ; they disregarded the 
Sabbath itself and fought during the whole of that 
day ; the Jewish party still bent upon peace-at-any- 
price found themselves speaking to deaf ears ; and so 
desperate was the resistance offered by the city that 
by November Gallus had abandoned the siege and 
taken to headlong flight. After this the Zealots had 
things all their own way in Jerusalem; the non- 
resistance party ceased to withstand them, and united 
preparations were made for a fight for national inde- 
pendence. Rome now began to regard this ' little war ' 
very much in the same way that Britain has been 
compelled to regard one Indian rising after another. 

THE WINTER OF 66-7 137 

Titus Flavius Vespasian was appointed commander- 
in-chief in order to suppress it. On the Jewish side 
a great many generals were appointed, among them 
Josephus himself ; but the leading spirit of the revolt 
was a certain John of Gischala, who probably had no 
sort of suspicion that Josephus was about to write a 
history of the war, and so took no steps whatever to 
render himself agreeable to the historian. We need not 
believe that John of Gischala was quite so inhuman 
a monster as Josephus describes him to have been ; 
and it may be that Josephus himself was not such a 
pattern of sagacious generalship as he clearly would 
have us imagine. 

The winter of 66-7 was a time of great though ill- 
regulated activity in Jerusalem in preparation for the 
inevitable renewal of hostilities. On the other hand, 
Titus Vespasian set sail earlier than the winter would 
usually permit and landed in Palestine with fifty or 
sixty thousand men. After some successful operations 
in Galilee and elsewhere, which occupied the greater 
part of the year 67, Vespasian paused while John of 
Gischala, unintentionally but not the less effectively, 
did some of Vespasian's work for him in Jerusalem. 
John brought to Jerusalem no such accounts from 
Galilee as to encourage prudent men to continued 
resistance to Rome, but there were many in Jerusalem 
who had thrown prudence to the winds. On John's 
entry into the city, he and the Zealots seized upon a 
part of the Temple and made it a stronghold for them- 
selves, as if it had been a citadel or a fortress, to the 
great distress of the moderate party, who called upon 
the High Priest Ananus (the second of that, name) to 
lead them against John. There was civil war once 


more, this time actually within the Temple. Ananus 
drove the Zealots into the Treasury Court, the gates 
of which were barred from within. They were thus 
deprived of the first court, that of the Gentiles, and in 
this Ananus placed six thousand men as guards. Owing 
to an honourable scruple against attacking the gates 
of the Treasury, Ananus did not attempt to force an 
entrance there. This court remained self-contained, 
and was of a higher level than the first court. Thus the 
Zealots were able to throw darts and stones upon their 
enemies from above, and the sanctuary pavement was 
defiled by the blood of the slain. 

During the winter of 67-8 anarchy ruled in Jeru- 
salem. Vespasian looked on from his winter quarters 
in Caesarea at the spectacle of his enemies weakening 
their own powers of resistance. It was not till the 
early summer of 68 that he was ready to march upon 
Jerusalem ; and just at that moment the death of 
Nero in Rome turned his thoughts in another direction. 
In 69 Vespasian himself was proclaimed Emperor, and 
the Judsean war remained at a standstill so far as Rome 
was concerned. 

In the meantime the Zealots in Jerusalem summoned 
the assistance of a horde of Idumeans. Twenty thou- 
sand of them came to Jerusalem at John's call. On 
arrival there they found the city gates closed against 
them by the peace party, and so they were obliged to 
encamp near the fortress of Antonia. An exceptionally 
severe storm in the night drove them to try to force 
their way into the city if only for shelter ; and the 
Zealots within aided them by taking the saws belonging 
to the Temple and cutting through the bars of the 
gates. To do this the Zealots must have left the 


Treasury or Women's Court by the gate marked '1' on 
the Plan, and proceeded to the Antonine gate, which 
was next to the Idumeans. It was here that they made 
use of their saws. That the gate thus forced was one 
of the gates of the tower of Antonia is clear ; for the 
bars were cut through ' from the outside.' 

Admission being thus gained into the Antonine 
fortress it was no difficult matter to massacre the 
guards and by opening the outer gates to admit the 
Idumean allies. The fortress thus passed into the 
hands of the Zealots and Idumeans, who at once 
attacked the loyal guards which Ananus had stationed 
in and around the Temple. The outer Temple soon 
overflowed with blood, and the morning discovered 
8500 bodies there. Jerusalem was given over to 
slaughter and plunder. Dead bodies were cast away 
without burial. Men, who had a little while before 
worn the sacred garments, were cast out naked to 
be the food of dogs and wild beasts. The body of the 
High Priest himself was one of these. Every sacred 
sentiment of an ancient nation of religionists was 
outraged. And as for the people in general, the Zealots 
fell upon them as upon a flock of unclean animals, 
scourging, torturing, slaying. It is no wonder that 
Josephus marks this period as the beginning of the 
end. The Idumeans themselves appear to have 
become at last glutted with their share in the terrible 
work, but no sign of shame appears in the Zealots. 

Vespasian all this time recognized clearly enough 
that the disturbances in Jerusalem were but making 
his task the easier, and he determined to let them have 
full scope before making his own attack upon the city. 
It seemed to him needless to use Roman forces to 


exterminate a city which was busily exterminating 
itself. At last, when the time was ripe, he sent his 
son Titus, then about thirty years of age, to complete 
the destruction of Jerusalem, while he himself went 
to Rome to make good his claim to be Emperor. By 
this time the Idumean allies had deserted the Zealots 
and returned to their home. The Jews were now left 
to their own devices. They set a watch at all the city 
gates so that none should escape who might be of 
service for defence. A certain Simon of Gerasa, a 
young man with a stormy history, had gathered a 
rabble army in the south of Judaea. By a resolution 
of the Sanhedrin, Simon was admitted into the city, 
and he proceeded to besiege John in the Temple. The 
Zealots defended themselves from the outer porticoes 
and battlements, from which it appears that the whole 
extent of Mount Moriah was now in John's possession. 
To defend the crest of the hill, John erected four large 
towers at the angles of the outer quadrangle of the 
Temple. Thus the civil war became more intense and 
cruel than ever, John and Simon each striving for 
supremacy in the nation. A third party existed, 
formed by the victors in the battle forced on Ananus, 
by which he secured the whole of the Naos court, and 
all that part of the Hieron which lay outside of the 
Treasury. Ananus himself had been killed, but his place 
was taken by Eleazer, whose father's name was Simon. 
The story of Josephus is of use here to demonstrate 
afresh the fact that those in the other parts of the 
Temple had their enemies in the inner or Women's 
Court ' over their heads ' ; J and also that those within 

1 In chapter xvi. the difference in the floor levels is said to be nine feet. 
The ascent from one to the other was by the fifteen circular steps on which 
the Temple musicians stood. See p. 192. 


the inner court suffered no lack of food, for the store- 
rooms, well filled with provisions, were within their 
reach, with doors opening into their court. He does 
not say that the great water-wheel was within this 
court, but we see that it was so, since otherwise the 
Zealots there would have died of thirst. The position 
of the wheel is seen on the Plan and it is described 
elsewhere. It was, of course, connected with one or 
more of the great water tanks cut to its south. On 
the fall of the city all the survivors of the defence 
were swept into this court, as will be afterwards told. 
John, however, had Eleazar and his party in turn 
over his head, fighting from the flat roofs of the Temple 
side-chambers ; he too had Simon and his party below 
him, occupying the upper city and a great part of the 
lower, both lying to the west of the Tyropcean Valley. 
So John in the Women's Court was attacked on both 
sides. Then was seen the strange spectacle of three 
separate factions within a city contending with one 
another for the mastery. The unhappy populace was 
the prey of all three, and the sufferings endured were 
beyond description. Finding the attacks from the 
Temple above more galling than those from the sides 
of the Asmonean and Kidron valleys, John determined 
to remove some or all of the wooden towers already 
referred to, and to place them behind the inner court, 
opposite but near to the west end of its cloister or 
colonnade. The reason given for the choice of this 
position was that there were steps on the other sides 
of the court, steps that would not let the towers come 
near enough to the roof of the sanctuary to overlook 
it. It would be difficult to find a more severe test of 
the accuracy of a plan of Herod's Temple than is 


provided here. Dr. John Lightfoot's plan does not 
show any inner court, nor anything which corresponds 
with the position of these reconstructed towers. The 
Plan which accompanies this volume shows steps on 
three sides of the Women's Court, leaving the fourth 
free for the erection of the towers. 

Before, however, any of these towers were com- 
pletely rebuilt, Titus had arrived with his army at 
the gates of Jerusalem. 


AMONGST the literary treasures prized by the 
Jewish nation was an ancient poem attributed 
to their great ancestor, the patriarch Jacob, in which 
occur the lines : 

The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, 

Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, 

Until he * come whose it is ; 

And unto him shall the obedience of the peoples be. 

It may be a coincidence or it may be much more 
than a coincidence, but the fact remains that until the 
death of Herod the Great the Jewish nation always had 
a native ruler of some sort. His position was often a 
dependent one and his rule a shadowy one, but there 
he was, a figurehead of national independence and 
self-government. Davidic monarch, Maccabean priest- 
king, Edomite titular sovereign or legitimate high- 
priest, there was always some embodiment of the 
proud boast, ' we were never in bondage to any man.' 
With the appointment of Archelaus as Tetrarch, and 
the birth of the Christ child, this attenuated and 
attenuating sovereignty came to an end. For ten 
years Herod's son vainly struggled to lock Rome's 

1 A various reading gives Shiloh here (Gen. xlix. 10). The Hebrews 
gave the napie Shiloh to their first holy place in the promised land, which 
they would hardly have done if the sentiment of the text had been under- 
stood — that word then forming a part of it. 



fetters on a captive people. Cyrenius did this and 
carried the matter both of a poll tax on every adult 
male, and a property tax on every member of the 
wealthier classes. From 6 to 66 a.d. the restive nation 
was being gradually broken to harness. During these 
six decades the names of Theudas, Judas of Galilee, 
and an unnamed Egyptian for whom Paul was mis- 
taken, appear in the New Testament as leaders of 
revolt. Josephus has others. In the breasts of each 
of these, as in those of their followers, the question 
' Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar ? ' had received 
a negative reply. It was the opposition of these two, 
the Law and the Tribute, that fed the flame of religious 
patriotism and made it an undying one. Jesus was 
compelled to declare himself on the subject, but He 
took no part in the agitation except to wean Simon 
the Zealot from his senseless opposition to Rome, in 
order to become one of His apostles. 

We shall greatly minify the difficulties both of the 
divine and the apostolic ministries if we leave out of 
account the political unrest and disquiet under which 
they were exercised. It was the ferment caused by the 
continuous taxing that ultimately brought Titus to the 
gates of Jerusalem. Struck by the ostentatious wealth 
and lavish extravagance of Herod the Great, Caesar 
Augustus determined upon sharing the plunder of 

Failing to get much or anything of this from Arche- 
laus, he was cast aside, with the forfeit of all his 
wealth, the Emperor ordering the sale for the benefit 
of the State of that splendid palace in Jerusalem which 
Herod had built, and which Josephus has elaborately 


Succeeding Emperors were not less but more 
covetous of gold than the mild Augustus. They were 
Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero. And now the 
further end had come with the planting of the imperial 
banners — signals of desolation — around the doomed 

In spite of its internal dissensions Jerusalem was not 
an easy city to capture. It owed much for defensive 
purposes to its site on a hill with a steep descent on 
three of its sides. It also owed much to its massive 
walls, especially those about the Temple, and to its 
fortifications. Moreover, we must not lose sight of the 
fact that one strong bond united the two (or three) 
factions of the Jews ; namely, their desperate loyalty to 
national traditions, a loyalty amounting to fanaticism. 
Add to this that they were a religious people with a 
settled conviction that Jehovah had a special favour 
to their race and would not allow them to be finally 
overborne. Alas, that it should be that sincerity is no 
test of truth ! 

It was in the early days of April, at the season of the 
Passover in the year 70, that Titus arrived before the 
gates of the city. No more weighty proof of the 
essentially religious nature of the Jews can be adduced 
than the fact that, even in the midst of such a state 
of things as the last chapter has described, and because 
of it, there was a larger and more general observance 
of this religious festival in Jerusalem than usual. 
Eleazar generously opened the gates of the Temple 
court for the usual sacrificial ceremonies to take place. 
John, who had possession of the outer court of porti- 
coes and of the Treasury court, used this opportunity 
to seize the Naes court which Eleazar had opened, and to 


attach the remaining Zealots there to his party once 
more. Thus the faction of Eleazar was extinguished, 
and John and Simon remained as the two surviving 
rival leaders of the Jews. John held the Temple, the 
fortress Antonia, the Ophel spur, and the Kidron 
ravine. Simon had his head-quarters in the still 
standing tower of Phasselus, the centre one of three 
built by Herod in the old wall of the city, and adjoining 
his palace in the lower market-place. His line of 
defence extended from the Kidron ravine on the north 
of the Temple in a semicircle bending westward to 
Siloam on the south. Both, of course, were to hold 
their own against Titus, The followers of John were 
those Jews who imagined they had something to gain 
by the revolt, and the followers of Simon were those 
who knew they had everything to lose by Roman 
supremacy. The two parties united to defend what 
must have been one of the strongest cities in the 

But it was to a city already devastated by civil war 
that Titus had come. In the Temple the blood of 
devout Jews had been mingled with their sacrifices, 
and this at the hands of their own fellow-countrymen. 
Blood lay in pools in the holy courts ; the dead 
bodies of strangers had been mingled there with those 
of natives, and those of profane persons with those of 
priests stricken down by darts at the altar itself. 
' And now, most wretched city, what misery so great 
couldest thou suffer from the Romans when they came 
to purify thee with fire from thy intestine pollutions ? ' 
Josephus loses thus for a moment the restraint of the 
mere historian and writes what every devout Jew must 
have felt. But if the Temple was already polluted 


beyond hope of cleansing, and if the people were 
weakened by civil war beyond hope of successful 
resistance of Rome, there yet remained to them 
sources of strength besides their walls ; a frenzied 
desperation which made them reckless of life and a 
sullen expectation that Jehovah would interpose by 
miracle to deliver them. These made them dogged to 
the very end. 

For a few days the attack of Titus was ineffectual. 
The attempt of the Roman army on the western wall 
near the tower Hippicus was found to be hopeless, 
and so the assault was concentrated upon the fortress 
of Antonia and upon the wall and fosse to the north 
of the Temple. By the end of April the legions had 
gained possession of the northern wall and were masters 
of Bezetha, the northern portion of the invested city. 
John, however, still held Antonia, and Simon the tower 
Hippicus ; and they as well as Titus were now sleep- 
lessly alert. Titus seems to have had some expectation 
that the Jews might capitulate, and suffered some 
embarrassment by false pretences on their part in this 
direction. Early in May he succeeded in taking the 
second wall, on the fifth day after taking the first. 
Up to this time it was his purpose not to demolish 
either the city or the Temple ; since a city intact would 
be a more valuable possession for Rome than a city in 
ruins. After taking this wall he paused for a little 
while to see whether the Jews would now surrender. 
The Jews, however, had a settled conviction that 
surrender would bring torments upon them for punish- 
ment at the hands of the Romans, and thought it 
better to perish in actual warfare. A conference at 
this point might have saved both the city and the 


Temple, but the Jews had by this time lost all sem- 
blance of self-possession and were in no mood for 
conference. There was nothing to be done but to 
proceed with the siege. 

On May 12th Titus attacked Antonia in order tq gain 
command of the Temple, which by this time had 
become a sort of central fortress. Meanwhile the 
besieged as much as the besiegers forbade any to leave 
the city, and the horrors of famine began to be added 
to the numerous horrors with which they were already 
familiar. Corn was eaten raw or snatched half-baked 
from the fire. Wives and mothers pulled the morsels 
that husbands and children were eating out of their 
very mouths. People crept out in the darkness to 
gather wild herbs and were robbed of them on their 
way back. Horrible expedients were used to make a 
man confess where he had hidden one loaf of bread or 
a handful of barley meal. Cannibalism itself was not 
unknown. Food had become the possession of none 
but the tyrannical rich. In order to defend Antonia, 
John undermined and set fire to some of the Roman 
outworks, and thus began the work of burning which 
was to become a hideous feature in the siege. In the 
midst of dust and flame and smoke and noise) the 
combatants could neither see nor hear each other. 
The Roman embankments were successfully attacked 
by the Jews from within, and Titus decided to build 
a wall round the whole city so as to reduce it by a 
close investment. This wall he completed in an in- 
credibly short time, the whole army being engaged 
on it. Famine became more and more gaunt as it 
stalked through the city and filled the streets with 
emaciated corpses, which the survivors were unable to 


bury. Deep silence and a kind of deadly night seized 
upon the city while the people died everywhere, their 
eyes fixed upon the Temple in their last agony. The 
putrefaction was such that Titus himself called heaven 
to witness that this was not his doing. Some miserable 
Jews swallowed their gold and leaped from the walls 
by night only to be dissected outside. Inside the 
Temple, John melted down the sacred vessels, grimly 
quoting the ancient law that they who served the 
Temple should live of the Temple, and asserting that 
they were serving it by defending it from the Romans. 
Every sacred sentiment of the Jews seems to have 
been by this time annihilated. 

Still Antonia remained untaken. The surrounding 
country had been denuded of trees to be used in Roman 
embankments and had become a desert. The loss of 
its former beauty seems to have affected the Jews as 
deeply as the desecration of the city itself. Their 
defence became more and more feeble, while the 
Romans became more and more confident. At last, 
by a happy combination of circumstances, Titus took 
possession of Antonia by night on July 5th. This 
mastery of the fortress was the decisive point in the 
campaign. Henceforth the time necessary for the 
defeat of the whole city was only to be measured by 
the persistence of the desperation of the Jews. The 
Temple now became the prize to be aimed at. There 
was but a narrow space between it and Antonia, and 
this space became the focus of the struggle and the 
scene of the fiercest fighting. If Josephus is to be 
believed, Titus made one last effort to keep the Temple 
intact. He appealed to John to surrender it, and 
promised that the sacrifices (which had already been 


discontinued) should be still offered by whomsoever 
John might select. Josephus himself was charged 
with this embassy to John, and gives a report of his 
speech on the occasion. But John was not to be moved 
and professed to believe that Titus was but afraid to 
proceed with the war. 

The first attack upon the Temple was made three 
hours before sunrise in the hope that the guards would 
be found asleep. They were awake, however, and a 
confused battle ensued in the darkness ; this was con- 
tinued in the narrow space between Antonia and the 
Temple till eleven o'clock in the morning, when 
both parties retired, in uncertainty as to which had 
won. The rest of the army was then occupied for 
seven days in making a broad way up to the Temple 
for the passage of the engines. The difficulties to be 
overcome were the filling up of a portion of the moat 
and the making of a glacis of earth against the platform 
on which the Temple stood. The height of the scarped 
rock of the moat on the east side of Antonia was from 
sixty to eighty-five feet. When this was partly filled up, 
four earthworks, constructed partly of fascines of 
wood, were raised against the walls of the Tr. On 
these it was intended to place the battering-rams and 
other engines. Their position is clearly given by 
Josephus (War vi. 2 § 7), and may easily be located on 
the Plan. The first was opposite the north-western 
corner of the ' inner Temple,' a phrase which means 
here not the Treasury or Women's court, but the 
Priests' court, directly in the rear of the Naos. The 
second is described as having been raised at the 
northern edifice or hall which was between the two 
gates. There being only three principal gates on that 


side of the Temple enclosure, this hall facing north 
can only have been the huge slaughter-house which 
masked Gate No. 5, this being the centre one of the 
three equidistant gates. Of the remaining two, one 
was at the western portico of the outer Temple, and 
the other opposite the northern portico. 

The first and second of these earthworks were 
directed against the Tr enclosure. No military en- 
gineer would think it necessary to attempt more than 
two simultaneous breaches of a single enclosure, 
equally strong on all sides. Accordingly, the third and 
fourth earthworks were directed against the walls 
which supported the double porticoes running round 
the hill of Moriah to the length of five furlongs. This 
was the ' outer Temple ' of Josephus. One of these 
earthworks looked toward the city lying on the west, 
and the other, from the outer side (i.e. the north) of 
the wall, was designed for the further breaking down 
of the wall in which a breach had been made at the 
taking of Antonia. This would seem to have been a 
part of the plan for making the broad way already 
referred to. 

The plateau of Moriah now became the theatre of 
the attack and defence. The Jews held the Temple, 
from which they made frequent sallies. In attempting 
to set fire to one of the cloisters which joined the 
Temple to Antonia, they made a beginning in burning 
the sacred timbers, and at last accomplished the dis- 
connection. The Jews also filled part of the roof of the 
western portico with dry wood and set fire to it. The 
Romans had meanwhile scaled the walls and were 
upon the roof of the cloister when the flames suddenly 
burst forth to their great consternation. The cloister 


was burnt down as far as John's tower. Next day 
the Romans themselves burnt down the northern 
cloister as far eastward as to the Kidron valley. 
Meanwhile, in the city, the famine was such that men 
were gnawing the leather from their shields, and one 
mother had made a meal of her own child. 

The western wall of the Temple was, like the rest, 
nine or ten feet broad, of squared stones clamped 
together ; and it resisted all the pressure which, during 
six days, the Roman engines brought to bear upon it. 
Seeing the futility of his efforts, both here and at the 
northern gate (No. 5), Titus reluctantly gave orders 
that fire should be applied to the huge gates of the 'Ir. 
His action in doing this against his better judgment 
and as a matter of military necessity need not be 
impugned as insincere, as he evidently wished to 
preserve the Temple to be an ornament of the Roman 
Empire. At all events, that is what Josephus would 
have us believe. Tacitus, on the contrary, says that 
Titus insisted upon the necessity of destroying an 
edifice with which two superstitions equally fatal were 
associated — that of the Jews and that of the Christians. 
These two superstitions, he says, though contrary to 
one another, Titus held to be of the same source ; the 
Christians came from the Jews ; the root torn up, the 
shoot would perish quickly. Neither of these con- 
jectures has the confirmation of the one person who 
knew what his own thoughts were. Titus himself 
said no word about the matter, unless he spoke the 
words Josephus attributes to him. 

It was on August 8th that Titus gave the order 
to set the gates of the Temple on fire. The next day 
he ordered the fire to be quenched and held a council 


of war to decide whether the Temple should be 
burned. The gates, however, were already burnt. 
Nothing hitherto had so profoundly moved the Jews 
as this feature, which, in their superstitious con- 
fidence, they had believed to be impossible. The gates 
themselves, being sheathed not with stout plates of 
iron but with thin plates of silver on the outside and 
of gold on the inside, had quickly caught fire and had 
blazed furiously. The flames had spread inward to the 
small porticoes with which each, gate was furnished 
and in one of which Peter had taken refuge on the 
night of his denial. As the fire is described as being 
' all about the Jews,' we may draw the inference that 
several of the outer gates of the Tr were simultaneously 
burnt — the porticoes within being only partly con- 

The huge mass of the Temple enclosure, still intact 
but for its gates, now lay at the mercy of the invaders. 
An assault made at any one or more of the breaches 
in its wall would have resulted in a great loss of life, 
owing to the desperate courage of the Jews within. 
That is why Titus called the council of war on August 
9th. Six principal officers attended, one of whom was 
Marcus Antonius Julianus, the procurator of Judaea and 
a successor of Pontius Pilate. He unhesitatingly gave 
his vote for the demolition of the whole Temple, and 
in this he was supported by two of his colleagues in 
the council. The casting vote of the General was for 
its preservation, and orders were given for its storming 
into surrender on the following morning. 

It was while preparations for this storming were in 
progress that an accident happened which rendered 
the storming unnecessary and determined that the 


fate of the building should be what Jesus had prophe- 
sied when He said that ' one stone should not be left 
upon another.' A Roman soldier obtaining unseen 
entrance, without staying for any orders, and being 
hurried by a sort of divine frenzy, snatched somewhat 
out of the embers of a smouldering portico and gate, 
and being lifted up by another soldier, set fire to a 
golden window through which there was a passage to 
the sanctuary on the north side. The flames soon 
spread to the adjoining woodwork and endangered 
the priests' chambers round the sanctuary. Titus at 
the time was resting in his tent. Hearing of the fire 
he ran into the building where everything was in con- 
fusion, and where if he gave any orders to stop the fire 
his orders were not heard or, at all events, not obeyed. 
On the contrary, another legionary put fire under the 
hinges of a gate, which must have been that of the 
holy place, since the Holy of Holies had no gate, but 
only a curtain. Titus was but a moment before 
admiring the sanctuary, which he had never yet seen. 
He was one of the last to see it, for the whole place 
was soon in flames. This was on August ioth in the 
year a.d. 70. 

While the Temple was burning everything was 
plundered that came to hand, and the plunderers, 
whether children or old men, profane persons or 
priests, were slain when caught. The noise of the 
flames and of the affrighted people was terrible, and 
' one would have thought that the blood was larger 
in quantity than the fire.' Crowds of refugees gathered 
around and climbed up the altar steps, where at least 
they thought they were safe. Slain there, their bodies 
slipped down to the pavement. No part of the struc- 


Such hinges are referred to in I Chronicles xxii. 3 


ture remained, the Romans judging that the burning, 
once begun, should be thorough and complete. Of 
the 6000 people who had flocked to the building to 
see its miraculous preservation none escaped alive. 
Some threw themselves down headlong from the roof 
of Solomon's Portico, and others were burnt to death. 
The thousands of Jews who thus perished had been 
impelled to the Temple by the belief that God would 
now at last grant them miraculous deliverance. Vast 
treasures which the Temple contained were destroyed ; 
but at least the Table of Shewbread, the candle- 
stick, and the silver trumpets were hurriedly carried 
away ; for these afterwards figured in a triumph at 
Rome and were subsequently sculptured on the arch 
of Titus there, where their image may be studied to 
this day. The Ark itself, if Ark there were, the place 
of which was further within the sanctuary, perished 
in the fire. Or it may be that in Herod's Temple there 
was no Ark but only a stone to represent it. There 
is a tradition to that effect in the Talmud. 

The Temple being overthrown, the city was not long 
to survive. The Roman ensigns were at once set up 
in the Temple over against its eastern gate — the 
' Beautiful Gate ' of Acts — and sacrifices were offered 
to them. After that no devout Jew (and all Jews were 
in a sense devout) could put much heart into the 
defence of the city ; and, as to physical strength, the 
famine-stricken inhabitants could not have had very 
much left. It seems that the officials had somehow 
managed to rescue from the Temple certain precious 
things. These were now delivered up to Titus by a 
certain priest in return for a promise of his own 
personal safety. There were two candlesticks, with 


tables and bowls and vials, all made of solid gold and 
very heavy ; also veils and garments, with tbe precious 
stones, and a great number of other vessels that 
belonged to the Temple worship ; as also a large 
quantity of cinnamon and cassia and other sweet 
spices for incense, some priests' coats and girdles and 
other treasures. The last belongings of the Temple 
had now gone out of the possession of the Jews. Simon 
and John, companions in adversity, were discovered 
in a subterranean cavern ; John was condemned to 
perpetual imprisonment, and Simon was reserved for 
the triumph in Rome, and to be then slain at the 
Tarpeian rock. By September 8th all resistance was 

Into what had been the Treasury court the unhappy 
inhabitants of the city were driven at its capture. 
Here was erected a martial court for the decision of 
each one's fate. The aged and infirm were not brought 
there, but were killed at sight. The rest appeared 
before Fronto, the commander of the two legions from 
Alexandria, and received their sentence from his lips. 
Those who were of martial appearance were reserved 
to grace Caesar's triumph ; those under seventeen 
years of age were sold as slaves ; those who were 
reported to have been seditious and robbers were 
beheaded. A great and promiscuous crowd was sent 
to work in the Egyptian mines. Some were selected 
as gladiators and bestiarii, and distributed among the 
chief provincial towns of Syria. During the adjudica- 
tion of these cases 11,000 are said to have died of 
hunger, most of them being suicides refusing to eat 
the Gentile rations. 

In those walls, which had for so many years echoed 


the mirth and gladness of the Jewish festivals and 
which had so often heard the teaching of Jesus, there 
must have stood before Fronto some who forty years 
before had joined a mournful procession on its way 
from this place, and had heard the words, ' Daughters 
of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves 
and for your children. For behold the days are coming 
in which they shall say, Blessed are the barren and 
the wombs that never bare.' The days had come ! 

In due course Titus had his triumph at Rome. The 
multitude and the magnificence of the shows were 
beyond description. Among the rest the spoils from 
the Temple in Jerusalem made a notable figure, though 
the construction of the golden candlestick had been 
altered. 1 Seven hundred tall and handsome Jewish 
captives walked in front of Vespasian and Titus. 
Simon, moreover, figured in the procession, and must 
have been prepared, if necessary, to make a vivid 
comment on some words of St. Paul's about being led 
in triumph, ' a savour from death unto death.' After 
the triumph was over Vespasian built in Rome a 
Temple to Peace and deposited therein the golden 
vessels and spoils that were taken out of the Temple 
in Jerusalem ; but the law and the purple veils of the 
holy place he laid up in the royal palace itself and 
kept them there. 

From September, 70, to the year 122, Jerusalem 
was nothing but a field of rubbish, ruins, and bones, 
with only Herod's three towers still standing. Then 
Hadrian rebuilt it as a Roman city. In 362 Julian 

1 Either actually or in the representation of it in the arch of Titus, or 
in the imagination of Josephus. 



gave permission to the Jews to rebuild the Temple. 
The attempt was rendered abortive by gases bursting 
into flame which issued from the ruins and destroyed 
the work of the labourers. What was the origin of 
the flame is matter of conjecture, but we can imagine 
that a very slight outburst of that sort would be enough 
to discourage so precarious a scheme upon so awful a 


Showing the golden candlestick, shewbread-table and silver trumpets, 
as carried in triumphal procession, 72 a.d. 

site. The only tangible memorials of these long past 
years, beyond Herod's towers and the Warning Stone, 
are some Roman coins in museums which bear the 
figure of a Jewish warrior with his hands bound, and 
of a woman sitting in desolation under the shade of a 
palm tree, with the inscription ' Judaea captive ' ; and 
the ancient sculptures of the Arch of Titus at Rome, 
where a panel, under cover from the weather, still 
represents that section of the triumphal procession 
in which the sacred vessels of the Temple were borne 
aloft amid Roman ensigns. How far this sculpture 


represents the size and appearance of the actual objects 
has been discussed by the author in the Quarterly 
Statement of the Palestine Exploration Fund for 
October, 1906. x 

1 In this paper the argument is held that the bas-reliefs on the arch are 
cut to the exact size of the originals, which were then in the Temple of 
Peace. Commendatore Boni, of Rome, had the arch cleaned of the grime 
of centuries in order to take accurate measurements. These were found, 
in nearly every case, to agree with the Bible descriptions of size, when the 
sacred cubit of nine-tenths of a foot was understood to be meant in them. 


IN course of time the Jews ceased to be a nation and 
became a race. In religion, the Talmud was re- 
constructed and, in Jewish estimation, took the place 
of the Temple. It is in Christianity rather than in 
Judaism that the Temple has a perpetual existence. 
Jerusalem has become what Renan calls ' the city of 
the heart ' for Christendom, and the heart of that city 
it still the Temple. Its courts, its altar, its sanctuary, 
its priests, its sacrifices, its phraseology of worship, 
even its ritual, are all still evident in the terminology 
of the Christian Church, and have taken a strong hold 
upon her sentiment and her imagination. If it were 
possible to eliminate from Christian consciousness 
what she owes- directly and indirectly to the Temple, 
it would be found that her fundamental conceptions 
had suffered vitally. And while these conceptions 
are due to the whole religious history of the successive 
Temples, they materialize themselves chiefly around the 
last of the succession — that one in which Jesus and 
His disciples had walked and taught. 

Much of this is due, of course, to the New Testament 
writings of the Christian apostles who were Jews by race. 
To them, rather than to Jesus Himself, is traceable that 
interweaving of Temple associations with Christian 
thought which became a part of its very texture. 

1 60 


St. Paul is not less conspicuous than the other 
apostles in this respect. Notwithstanding all that he 
had suffered from Jews and Jewish Christians in 
Jerusalem, he still remained saturated with Jewish 
ideas and modes of thought. The Jews knew him as 
the ' apostle to the Gentiles,' but the Gentiles must 
always have recognized in him an apostle from the 
Jews. In one of his earliest extant epistles he uses 
an allegory so distinctly Hebrew that some of the 
Galatians to whom he was writing must have found 
it as obscure as we do. But one point in it is quite 
clear : ' Jerusalem which is from above is free, which 
is the mother of us all.' In a still earlier epistle there 
is another rather obscure reference to a ' man of lawless- 
ness ' — obscure because the historical key to the situa- 
tion is now lost — but, whoever and whatever the man 
was or is, St. Paul pictures him as arrogantly 'sitting 
in the Temple of God,' a metaphor which indicates that 
St. Paul figured to himself the Christian Church as 
a Temple. That metaphor recurs again and again. 
' Know ye not that ye are a Temple of God and that 
the Spirit of God dwelleth in you ? . . . The Temple 
of God is holy, which Temple ye are.' Again, in the 
same epistle, ' Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.' 
Not the Church only, but also the individual believer 
is described as ' a Temple of the Holy Ghost which is 
in you.' Incidentally, when defending the right of a 
Christian apostle to maintenance by the Church, he 
enforces his contention by reference to the fact that 
' they which minister about sacred things eat of the 
things of the Temple, and they which wait upon the 
altar have their portion with the altar.' Again, the 
bodies of believers are not only a Temple, they are 



also a sacrifice ; ' I beseech you ... to present your 
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which 
is your spiritual worship.' And once, in a notable 
passage, he regards his own ministry as a performance 
of the priestly office among the Gentiles. ' Grace was 
given me that I should be a minister of Christ Jesus 
unto the Gentiles, ministering the Gospel of God as 
in a sacrifice, that the offering up of the Gentiles might 
be made acceptable, being a sacrifice which the Holy 
Ghost has made holy ' (Rom. xii. i ; xv. 16). 

These are allusions which occur in epistles written 
before that memorable visit of St. Paul to the Temple 
which came so near to a fatal termination for him in 
the matter of Trophimus the Ephesian. That visit 
and its consequences naturally burnt the impression 
of the Temple's exclusive limitations into the apostle's 
mind indelibly. So soon as leisure came to him, in the 
captivity at Rome which was one result of the visit, 
he wrote an epistle to the Ephesian Christians, and in 
it he makes reference to that fatal ' middle wall of 
partition ' in the Temple ; reference so sternly un- 
compromising as to amaze by its temerity the reader 
who remembers that it was by reason of this very 
matter that he was now awaiting his trial in Rome. 
' Remember,' he says, ' that you Gentiles were alien- 
ated from the commonwealth of Israel, contemptuously 
called the Uncircumcision, strangers to the covenant, 
held at arm's length, regarded as hopelessly apart from 
God in the world. But now Christ has changed all 
that for you. He has broken down the middle wall of 
partition. He has slain the enmity which that barrier 
indicated. Through Him, we, both Jews and Gentiles, 
are brought nigh to the holiest and have our access in 


one Spirit unto the Father. So then, as Christians, ye 
are no longer strangers and sojourners, but fellow- 
citizens. Nay, ye are not simply admitted to the 
inner sanctuary, ye are the sanctuary. In Christ ye 
are builded together into a holy Temple, a habitation 
of God.' In the same epistle he alludes once more to 
Christ as ' an offering and a sacrifice to God for an 
odour of a sweet smell '—the very sacrificial phrase 
used repeatedly in the Book of Leviticus. Varying 
his use of the metaphor, he again represents the ideal 
Church as a holy sacrifice or offering, ' cleansed by the 
laver of regeneration ' and ' not having spot or wrinkle 
or any such thing, but holy and without blemish,' as 
were the sheep and lambs offered daily in the Temple. 
During the same captivity St. Paul wrote a touching 
Epistle to the Philippians. Contemplating the possi- 
bility of imminent martyrdom, it is still the Temple 
and its sacrifices which are the background and frame- 
work of his thoughts. ' If I am required to pour out 
my life-blood as a libation over the sacrificial offering 
of your faith, I still rejoice, and I ask you also to 
rejoice.' It may be that he recognized that his readers 
would think rather of heathen libations than of Jewish 
drink-offerings ; l and in either case the metaphor is 
equally appropriate. But that he himself was thinking 
of the Jewish Temple ritual seems to be evident when 
we find that later on, when his martyrdom was actually 
impending, he writes in almost the same words to 
Timothy — to a man, that is, whose modes of thought 
were as little heathen and as intensely Jewish as his 

1 A beautiful analogy is that of Socrates, who, when handed the fatal 
cup of hemlock, requested permission of his jailor to pour out a few drops 
as a libation to the gods. This being denied to him, he ordered a cock to 
be sacrificed to Esculapius, the god of health, in his last words. 


own. There was no need in writing to Timothy to 
draw upon heathenism for a metaphor, and so we may 
conclude that he was not doing so when he wrote in 
the same phrase to the Philippians. 

One last vigorous example may be drawn from the 
same epistle. ' I suffered,' he says, ' the loss of all 
things for Christ, and I do count them but dung.' 
In all burnt sacrifices consumed in the altar fires the 
contents of the stomach and of the entrails of animals 
were rejected and carried away. A washing-room for 
this purpose is indicated in the Plan. Paul's loss for 
the sake of Christ was literally the loss of all those things 
which human nature counts dear. To him they 
counted as refuse, utterly worthless, unworthy to be 
made a sacrifice of — in a word, dung. 

The Epistle of St. James is, upon any view of it, 
a surprising document. The writer of it was the very 
man who withstood, judiciously but yet firmly, the 
teaching of St. Paul that there was no need for a 
Gentile to become, in any sense, a Jewish proselyte in 
order to become a Christian disciple. He was the 
leader and spokesman of that great company of priests 
who were obedient to the faith, whose view was that 
Christianity was a product of Judaism, and was only 
to be entered upon by way of Judaism. His epistle 
is addressed to Jewish Christians. There is no allusion 
in it to the controversy with Paul about this matter, 
but this fact may be accounted for if we assume that 
the epistle was written before the controversy arose. 
James writes like an Old Testament moralist with a 
tinge of Christian sentiment. But his morality is not 
that of the ancient prophets, who upon occasion 
denounced the Temple observances when they had 


degenerated into mere ritual ; still less is it that of the 
priestly school who upheld that ritual ; it is rather the 
austere and unemotional morality of the Wisdom 
literature which ignores the Temple. One is tempted 
to surmise that he only assumed the priestly attitude 
in his official situation as the leader of the Hebrew 
Christians against the attitude of St. Paul. At all 
events, we look in vain in his epistle, Jewish as it is, 
for any allusion to the Temple idea in Christian con- 
sciousness. Once, indeed, he appears to ignore it 
deliberately. He has a passage against swearing which 
is obviously reminiscent of a passage in the Sermon on 
the Mount ; but he omits from it the reference to 
swearing ' by Jerusalem ' which is conspicuous in the 
words of Jesus as reported by St. Matthew. 

By way of contrast with the Epistle of St. James we 
have an anonymous Epistle to the Hebrews which 
presents the Christian consciousness as saturated 
through and through with the Temple sentiment. 
To quote the Temple passages from this epistle would 
be to quote almost the whole epistle. The Epistle to 
the Hebrews is, to a far greater extent than any other 
New Testament document, the source of that element 
in Christian thought which habitually expresses itself 
in terms of- the Temple worship. And yet this writer 
has not the smallest sympathy with the narrow views 
of the Jerusalem school of Judaisers, but writes to 
purify and enlarge their conceptions and to provide 
for them a golden bridge by which they might pass 
from one dispensation to the other. He is distinctly 
Pauline in his conception of Christianity as the absolute 
religion, and as by no means an outcome of Judaism. 
All phases of religion are, in his view, but stages in 


the development of Christianity, and the Jewish 
religion was but one notable example of the universal 
preparation for Christ. The Melchizedek passage in 
his epistle is the centre and pivot upon which the 
whole argument turns. Melchizedek was an even more 
significant indication of the absolute religion than was 
Judaism itself ; and yet Melchizedek stood altogether 
apart from, and was superior to, the very progenitor 
of the Hebrews. Judaism, all through its history, like 
its Tabernacle, was but a copy and a shadow of the 
divine ' pattern ' and ideal. The Hebrew system of 
religion was but one representation of the heavenly 
things ; and it represented the eternal substance only 
as a shadow represents the outline of some bodily 
form. The most that it could do was to indicate the 
existence of the true ideal and to direct attention 
thereto. Jesus Himself sprang from no priestly tribe 
of the Jews ; His was an eternal priesthood, the priest- 
hood of humanity rather than that of a race of men ; 
He was not Jewish, but universal. So far, then, from 
Christianity being conditioned by Judaism, the exact 
contrary is the teaching of this epistle. Judaism is 
to be interpreted by Christianity. The ideas and 
usages and phraseology of the Temple worship are 
only to be rightly understood when they are transferred 
to the ampler region and purer atmosphere of the 
Christian faith. This epistle, written while the Temple 
still stood, stands with the speech of St. Stephen, with 
the teaching of St. Paul, and with the Gospels them- 
selves, for the unconditioned supremacy of Chris- 
tianity ; and one of the minor things we owe to it is 
the transplanting of the once visible Temple, and of all 
that it stood for, into the region of the universal faith. 


Never in the history of the Jewish religion did the terms 
of it know so wealthy a significance as they acquire 
in the Christian Epistle to the Hebrews. 

The first Epistle of Peter, written to the Diaspora, 
speaks of ' the sprinkling of the blood of Christ ' in its 
very first sentence, and introduces the phrase without 
explanatory comment, as if its implication were 
already obvious and familiar. In the course of the 
first chapter a similar phrase is again introduced, and 
is followed by an amplification quite in accordance 
with the teaching of the Epistle to the Hebrews : 
Christ ' was foreknown indeed before the foundation 
of the world, but was manifested at the end of the 
times.' Later in the epistle a Pauline conception is 
introduced: Christians are 'a holy priesthood, to 
offer up spiritual sacrifices ... a royal priesthood.' 
St. Peter had evidently acquired the lesson taught him 
by the vision of the sheet let down from heaven. 
Another epistle which bears Peter's name makes no 
reference to the Temple or its worship. Nor does the 
epistle which bears the name of Jude contain any such 
reference, unless there be by possibility a verbal 
allusion underlying a phrase about ' garments spotted 
by the flesh,' and another concerning disciples ' pre- 
sented without blemish.' 

The writings of St. John are of a date later than the 
Temple, and breathe an atmosphere of philosophy so 
remote from Judaism that we should hardly expect 
to find the consciousness of the Temple here unless it 
had by this time become inextricably interwoven 
with the texture of Christian thought, The fourth 
Gospel is a record and an interpretation of the teaching 
of Jesus in earlier times and so does not concern us 


in our present inquiry, except in so far as it has already 
been used in former chapters of this work. The 
Epistles of John, however, are germane to our inquiry. 
What do we find in them as matter of fact ? In the 
first epistle, though the Temple allusions are by no 
means frequent nor of the staple of the argument, 
yet they are found to be actually those that are most 
familiarly precious in the Christian Church throughout 
the ages. There are two such allusions. One is ' the 
blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.' The 
other, occurring twice, describes Christ as ' the pro- 
pitiation for our sins.' The two other very short 
epistles, which are merely letters and not treatises, 
do not allude to the matter. But the two striking 
phrases above quoted are abundantly sufficient to 
show how firmly and how distinctly the legacy of the 
Temple and its sacrifices had by this time become 
embedded in Christian teaching. 

The Apocalypse introduces a new element, side by 
side with references that are of the familiar sort. The 
book is not only reminiscent of the Temple at Jeru- 
salem, but is also anticipatory of the Temple in the 
ideal New Jerusalem. The apocalyptic element is 
more prominent than the historical, and has given its 
name to the book, but the historical element is never- 
theless notable. Oftener than not the historical and 
the apocalyptic are blended in one and the same 
passage in a fashion almost unknown in the earlier 
writers. But early in the book there are Pauline 
phrases, and expressions familiar in the Epistle to the 
Hebrews. The saints are ' washed in His blood,' 
' purchased with blood,' and are ' priests unto God.' 
The historical reminiscence which occurs oftenest 


throughout the book is the reproduction of the earliest 
announcement of the ministry of Jesus, John the 
Baptist's description of Him as ' the lamb of God.' 
Except once, in St. Peter's Epistle, that description 
of Christ does not occur elsewhere in the apostolic 
writings, but here in the Apocalypse it recurs con- 
stantly. Yet even these historical allusions are 
presently blended with the apocalyptic. 

The key to the whole situation in the Apocalypse is 
the conception of a holy Jerusalem rather than a holy 
Temple in Jerusalem. The sanctity of the Temple has 
become extended in the vision to the whole city of 
God — the New Jerusalem. The priests of God are not 
only ' priests unto God ' in the Temple, they are 
priests who ' shall reign ' in the holy city, ' a kingdom 
of priests.' The Temple and the throne are con- 
stantly identified in this city of God. St. Paul has a 
glimpse of this conception in his ' Jerusalem which is 
above, the mother of us all,' and the writer of the 
Epistle to the Hebrews sees it still more clearly in his 
' city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,' but 
it remained for the Apocalypse to deepen these glimpses 
into an ordered vision. It draws upon Ezekiel for 
the ' measuring reed,' and upon rabbinical lore for the 
' saints beneath the altar,' but whatever the historical 
source of the allusions may be, they are habitually 
wrought into the new framework of the city of God. 
The altar, the incense, the ministering priests, all are 
here and are all part of a Temple which is a city, and a 
city which has a throne. The climax of the vision occurs 
towards the end of it. 'I saw no Temple therein : for 
the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are the 
Temple thereof. And the lamp thereof is the Lamb.' 


It may be that in the New Testament there are 
ideas drawn from heathen temples which are incor- 
porated in Christian thought, as there are certainly 
many such ideas which are cited only to be excluded 
from Christian conceptions. In patristic times, doubt- 
less, Christianity assimilated some ideas and usages 
from Greek non-Christian religions. The late Dr. 
Hatch has exhibited and made the most of these. ' In 
the splendid ceremonial of Eastern and Western wor- 
ship,' he says, ' in the blaze of lights, in the separa- 
tion of the central part of the rite from common view, 
in the procession of torch-bearers, chanting their 
sacred hymns, there is the survival ... of what I 
cannot find in my heart to call a pagan ceremonial ; 
because, though it was the expression of a less en- 
lightened faith, yet it was offered to God from the 
heart.' That may be so ; and, if so, it is quite in 
accordance with the spirit of the Epistle to the He- 
brews, which claims that all manifestations of religion 
are preparatory and contributory to Christ . But there 
can be no doubt whatever that, of all these preparatory 
religions, it is the Hebrew religion which is over- 
whelmingly predominant among those which have 
been made contributory to the Christian Church. 
Some of the things which Hatch traces to Greek re- 
ligion — the seclusion of the central rite from common 
view, for example — are far more obviously and directly 
traceable to the Jewish sanctuary than to any other. 

Universal Christianity is united in this one thing. 
It aims at, and in part it has already realized, that 
ideal of the Apocalypse that the Temple is the Kingdom 
of God. Since a.d. 70 the Temple built with hands 
has disappeared, as it was necessary that it should do, 


but it is with us still in an infinitely larger sense. In 
the Roman branch of the Catholic Church the fault 
which is found by Protestants is that the old Jewish 
ideas and usages are all too literally reproduced "and 
perpetuated. The priest, the altar, and the sacrifice are 
found to be in that Church too little in accordance with 
the intenser spiritual interpretation of them which the 
New Testament teaches. But at all events it remains 
true that if the Roman Church could be divested of what 
it owes to the Jewish Temple it would be poor indeed. 

In another sense the same may be said of the 
Protestant Churches. The Book of Common Prayer 
is saturated with modes of expression which are 
directly derived from the Temple and its worship. 
The hymns which are common to all the Churches are 
not less full than the Roman ritual of phrases, and 
more than phrases, which have their origin in Jewish 
worship, but which are often used to express eternal 
truths as vases are used to contain precious fragrances. 
The whole expression and essence of the forms of 
worship and devotion and thought in the Christian 
Church would be altered beyond recognition if the 
Hebrew element could and should by possibility be 
eliminated from it. The Temple of to-day is the 
universal Church of Christ ; and the Temple of the 
day that is to be is the whole race of saintly men 
incorporated into the New Jerusalem, the city of God, 
for a habitation of God in the Spirit. 

In the meanwhile the burning of the Jewish Temple, 
so necessary to the peace of the early Christians, re- 
mains God's great object-lesson to the Churches that 
to obey is better than to sacrifice ; and to hearken 
than to offer the fat of rams. 





JOSEPHUS was twenty-seven years of age when 
he was sent into the two Galilees from Jerusalem 
to prepare for the war with Rome,which all then saw 
impending. In a.d. 66 the flame of strife was kindled, 
and, after a protracted defence of his province, Josephus 
fell into the hands of the Romans as a prisoner of war. 
Now took place one of those events in the history 
of Josephus which his readers deplore, and which has 
brought his writings into unmerited suspicion. Taken 
to Caesarea for winter quarters in the autumn of 68 
with the soldiery, he resolved to place at the disposal 
of Vespasian his unrivalled knowledge of public 
affairs ; and, to gain his liberty, became a supporter 
of Rome. It is possible that in doing this he was 
actuated by a genuine regard for his stricken country, 
and in the unequal contest deemed her submission to 
Rome to be the least of all the evils which might 
befall her. Even should we credit him with this not 
unpatriotic motive for his volte face, nothing can 



excuse the way in which he endeavoured to account 
for it to his own countrymen. He asserted that, guided 
by prophetic power, he had foretold the elevation of 
both Vespasian and Titus to the imperial purple by 
saluting them as Imperators when they were but 
generals in the service of Rome. On this account — 
such is his fiction — when Vespasian was elected 
Emperor, having gone to Rome for this purpose, Titus, 
now commander-in-chief in Palestine, ordered Jose- 
phus' fetters to be struck off, and took him into his 
confidence as a member of the Head-quarters Staff. 
It was while in this character, as civil adviser to the 
young general, that the attack on Jerusalem took place 
on the third day of the Feast of the Passover, when 
the body of the Jewish people were assembled within 
their city's wall. 1 The astute proposal which timed 
this attack could have originated only in the mind of 
a member of the chosen people, and there is no one 
to whom we can attribute it but Josephus. 

While, however, we hold Josephus guilty of ter- 
giversation and deceit as to the grounds of his favour- 
able relations with the Roman authorities — -for he 
afterwards lived at Rome, in the sunshine of the smile 
of three Emperors — we cannot afford wholly to dis- 
count the value of his testimony as to all other 

He was built of the stuff of which courtiers are made, 
but even a courtier may speak truth as to things which 
do not require the supple knee. There are in his 
writings ten thousand items of which he had an un- 

1 ' They came up from all parts of the country to the feast of un- 
leavened bread, and suddenly found themselves meshed in with the war, 
which density of population first produced a pestilence, and very soon 
afterwards a famine ' ( War vi. 9 § 3). 


rivalled knowledge, and as to which an ex-priest of the 
Jewish hierarchy had no bias, one way or another. 
Among these subjects are those which concern the 
topography of Jerusalem and the fabric of the Temple. 
He was in the habit of submitting translations of his 
books to the Csesar of the day before their publication, 
but even this censorship would not require him to 
say that a distance or a spot was other than it was. 
Rather, it would act the other way, and induce an 
extra carefulness in the narration of events of which 
Vespasian or Titus might have as good a knowledge 
as himself. 

As we come to close grips with Josephus on the 
fields of history and archaeology, we shall find that he 
wrote, not as a modern and Western would do, with 
the scale and the foot-rule in his hand, but as an his- 
torian anxious rather to produce broad effects and 
striking contrasts. Herein lies the vitality of his 
work as well as much of its charm, and it is to him 
that we owe those bird's-eye views of the city and its 
Temple without which the crabbed and cryptic utter- 
ances of the Rabbis would not be intelligible. 


There are available no new or secret sources of 
information as to the plan or aspect of the Temple in 
which Jesus carried on much of His missionary work. 
Of those which have long been known, one of the sixty- 
three Tractates of the Mishna is devoted to this topic. 
It is named Middoth (Measurements) and contains five 
chapters and some hundred ' mishnaioth ' or deter- 
minations, but has no commentary in the Talmud. 


As this tractate is reproduced entire, by translation, 
in Appendix II, it is necessary here only to say that 
portions of the Mishna belong to the time of Christ 
and some fractions bear internal evidence taking them 
back to 180 b.c. The tractate Middoth, however, appears 
to have been written soon after the destruction of the 
Temple in a.d. 70. This is just such a literary work 
as we would expect the Sanhedrin sitting at Jamnia 
or Tiberias to produce. Their Temple destroyed, and 
they themselves forbidden to visit its site, what is so 
natural as that those elders who loved it should en- 
shrine their memories of it in a written document such 
as that we have before us ? While, however, almost 
contemporary dates are to be given to this the tenth 
tractate of the sixth book of the Mishna and to the last 
days of the Temple itself, it is to be observed that the 
occasional mention of Rabbi Jehudah in the pages of 
the former is to be accounted for by the fact that 
' Jehudah the Holy ' was the last authorized editor 
or compiler of the whole book of mishnic tractates, 
and that he lived at the close of the second century of 
our era. His appearance, however, in Middoth is but 
occasional and unimportant, and there is no certainty 
that he is the interlocuter named. 

In Middoth we thus have a body of written evidence 
coming down to us from the time of Josephus with 
which he, living in Rome, was unacquainted. This 
may be used to test his figures, and, with a few clerical 
errors corrected, it is wholly consistent with itself and 
with him. Of these errors we may instance the sub- 
stitution of the word ' south ' for north in iii. 1, and 
the difference of two cubits required in Appendix II 
to make items 86 and 101 harmonize. Beyond these 


there is no discrepancy ; though in two cases — items 
69 and 102 — the actual distance is not given, but the 
spaces are referred to as ' the remainder,' and left to 
be inferred. No difficulty has been found in discovering 
what the missing figures are. The only actual con- 
tradiction between the two authorities is the un- 
important one where Josephus says that the Soreg was 
3 cubits high, the Rabbis saying that it was 10 hand- 
breadths high, or 2J cubits. Beyond these negligible 
quantities there is the most perfect accord, each- of 
the two reminiscent documents contributing something 
to that total which has been used in drawing up the 
plan of the Herodian Temple herewith presented. 1 

To anyone who is familiar — and who is not ? — with 
the oblong representation of Herod's Temple in its 
ground-plan usually given in Manuals, Helps, and 
Dictionaries, the square enclosure within which it is 
here presented will come as an unaccustomed present- 
ment, and one which will require ' confirmation strong 
as holy writ ' for its acceptance. So confident of 
success, however, are the designer and approvers of 
this new plan that they fear more the force of prejudice 
and indifference than the critical examination of their 
work. This criticism they court, and in doing so 
would take leave to point out that since about a.d. 
1650 no serious and patient attempt has been made 
to reconstruct the Herodian Temple from the literary 
materials at band. At that time Dr. John Lightfoot 
employed the vast resources of his rabbinical learning 
in preparing his Prospect of the Temple. He laboured, 
however, under the disadvantage of conceiving that 
there was but a single Temple plan from Solomon to 

1 For the scheduled arrangement of their figures see Appendix I. 


Herod, and has thus combined the materials of the 
two previous structures to make the third design. 
This fatal error vitiates the whole of his learned labour, 
though his literary work remains a vast quarry from 
which the modern Hebraist may draw his linguistic 
verdicts. Yet Lightfoot's unaltered ground-plan re- 
mains to this day in the mind of millions representa- 
tive of the Temple of the New Testament as consisting 
of two squares lying east and west of one another. 
Now, for the first time since its destruction, the stu- 
dents of the square Jewish Temple as it was in the 
time of our Lord may trace His footsteps as He taught 
there, and, in thought, accompany Him as He walked 
in the Court of the Gentiles, or stand beside Him as 
He blessed little children or pronounced the acquittal 
of the woman who had been a sinner. 


Of that place of hallowed memories there remains 
the single notable stone of the discovery of which we 
have written in chapter xi. This, without doubt, is a 
portion of the original structure, and bears on its face 
the insignia of such sanctity as can be derived from 
the fact that apostles, disciples, and possibly Christ 
Himself must have read its legend. 1 It is a short 
obelisk, of which the late Dr. Albert Long, then Presi- 
dent of the Robert College in Constantinople, sent in 
1900 the following account : — 

' I must remark that the stone, being soft and 

1 For particulars as to the inscription on the pillar see p. 127, and for 
the Soreg itself see Index. M, Clermont Ganneau's original description 
of the finding of the stone is given in the Quarterly Statement of the P.E.F. 
for August, 1871. 


calcareous, is very much worn and has suffered such 
rough usage during its long journeys, and especially 
during the fourteen years when it was lying, unrecog- 
nized, among the mass of material collected in the 
caves of the Imperial Museum, that it has become so 
chipped upon the edges as to render impossible the 
exact measures you would like." 

To his letter Dr. Long kindly appended a set of 
ratios and measurements, carefully taken by him, 
which, with those of Professor Clermont Ganneau, are 
as follows : — 

M. Ganneatis Ratios. 


i. Thickness ... 39 

2. Height ... 60 

3. Length ... 90 

Dr. Long's Ratios. 


Thickness ... 40 
Height ... 60 

Lerigth ... 90 

M. Clermont Ganneau, however, states that the 
Stela is a ' gently sloping one (at about a centimetre).' 
There is thus no actual difference between the two 
ratios, as the discoverer evidently took the measure 
of the upper portion of the St 61a, whereas Dr. Long 
has taken his ' thickness ' from the lower portion. 
The value of M. Clermont Ganneau's and Dr. Long's 
metric measurements in British inches are as follows:— 

M. Ganneau's Lengths. 


Thickness ... 15.486081 
Height ... 23.824740 

Length ... 35737 no 

Dr. Longs Lengths. 

Thickness ... 15! 
Height ... 23J 

Length ... 35 

In considering these figures with their slight dis- 
crepancies, we are struck by the fact that the difference 
between the second and the third dimension {i.e. the 
height and length) in both sets of measurements is 
that of the Greek or Roman foot. The difference in 


M. Clermont Ganneau's set of figures is ii i o,i2370 ) and 
in Dr. Long's 11 -666 inches; whereas the Grseco-Syrian 
foot was 11-67, or thereabouts. 

If this last figure be taken, experimentally, as the 
unit by which the Stela was cut, the height will be 
found to be one and a half measures of the thickness, 
and the length one and a half measures of the height — 
the ratios being those already given of 40, 60, and 90. 

The following would then be the original size of the 
Stela : — 

Thickness, ij Greek feet, 1 or 15*56 British" inches. 
Height 2 „ „ 23-34 „ „ 

Length 3 „ „ 35-01 „ „ 

These figures, it will be observed, are slightly more 
harmonious with those of Dr. Long than with those 
of M. Clermont Ganneau, to whom Dr. Long pays the 
tribute of being ' well known for his accuracy of 
detail.' The French savant , moreover, in a communica- 
tion, dated 24th September, 1900, says, ' Since 1872, I 
have had occasion to take up these calculations again, 
and I should, perhaps, have some modification to 
introduce in the conclusions which (with reservation) 
I have limited myself to indicating.' 

Hence the values of 39, 60 and 90 centimetres do not 
represent M. Clermont Ganneau's final or latest 
results. These I have not yet seen given to the world, 
though they may have been given. 

1 It is possible that this length was adopted as being the nearest ordi- 
nary fraction of the Greek foot to the ordinary Hebrew cubit of 1 4 "4 ins. 
As the width of the two worshipping courts of the Temple are given 
(in Middoth v. § 1) as having been eleven cubits (including the partition), 
it is inevitable that the standing-place should have been ten cubits ( = 12 ft.) 
and the division one cubit. The Stela must thus have projected for rather 
more than an inch over the wall, which would be a very proper construc- 
tion in a wall which had no roof but was open to the sky. 


In the meantime, and until they are made public, 
Dr. Long's figures may be taken as containing the last 
actual measures in British standards. Placed side by 
side with the theoretical figures, they are as follows : 














- Th 





These minute fractions of an inch are all minus 
quantities, and in view of the state of dilapidation into 
which the Stela has fallen, through rough usage and 
weathering, consequent upon its place in the Temple 
(where it had no cover), it is in favour of them that 
this is so. Some small attrition of its particles of 
' soft ' limestone was sure to have taken place in the 
course of its nineteen centuries of history, which loss 
may be taken to be represented by the differences 
above scheduled. 


A further question, however, arises as to how the 
Greek standard of length found its way into, or was 
allowed to be, within the sacred precincts of the Temple. 
A glance at the Plan of Herod's Temple will serve to 
show that the Soreg itself stood for half its thickness 
within the sacred precincts of the Temple, and that 
the other half formed a portion of the Terrace or 
Chel, to which exactly one-fourth of the sanctuary 
was devoted. The Soreg stood upon or rather on 
either side of the 75-foot line, and therefore one half 
of it formed a portion of that part of the Temple into 
which, when completed, no foreigner might enter. 

It is to be noted that, as in the case of Solomon's 


Temple, a distinction was made between the dedication 
of the Temple proper and that of the courts about the 
Temple. In the former case a period of thirteen years 
intervened between the two dedications, the removal 
of the Ark into the Temple being the great event of 
the earlier one. 

This took place at the Feast of Tabernacles, in the 
autumn, or seventh month of the year (i Kings viii. 
2). The dedication of the altar of Zerubbabel's Temple 
also took place in the seventh month of the year 
(Ezra iii. 1-6). Hence the laws of precedent would 
require that the dedication of the Temple and altar 
built by the priests at Herod's expense should have 
taken place at one of the great feasts of the year ; 
either that of Tabernacles or of the Passover — which 
were held at a distance of six months apart. 

But the celebration of the completion of ' the work 
about the Temple ' (Ant. xv. 11 § 6) did not take place 
till between six and seven years after the opening of 
Herod's Temple and when the work was still far from 
finished. The choice of a day for this celebration was 
made to synchronize with that of Herod's accession 
to the crown — twenty-six years before. 

Herod's actual reign began 38-37 B.C. The re- 
building of the Temple proper and Naos was begun in 
the eighteenth and completed in the twentieth year of 
his reign. 

There was thus a period of several years intervening 
between the completion of the Temple and that of the 
courts. The former was the work of the priests. The 
latter that of Herod and his servants. Both were 
presumably begun at the same time. Hence, after the 
opening of the Temple, ' Herod laboured at the porti- 


coes and the outer enclosures. These he built in eight 
years ' (Ant. xv. n § 5). 

In the division of labour thus involved it would 
seem not only that the great cloister and the colonnades 
within the Treasury or Women's Court were con- 
structed by the Greek measurement, under Herod's 
workmen, but that the Soreg itself was so constructed. 
It was, therefore, the work of a Gentile architect, and 
would not be effective as a protection against aliens 
or foreigners entering the outer Temple courts until 
after the Greek workmen had handed over the building 
to its legitimate occupants, and its dedication by 
them. The inscription bears traces of Hebrew linguistic 
peculiarities, and would be the work of the Jews 

By this hypothesis it is hoped that not only will 
acceptance be gained for the unit of the Jerusalem 
Stela having been the Greek foot, but also that, in the 
acceptance of this, some light will have been thrown 
upon the erection of the Temple itself as being partly 
of Greek and partly of Hebrew origin and construction. 


ANY attempt to give the size of the site upon which 
l\ the Herodian Temple was built is to go to the 
root of the matter of its present-day reconstruction. 
When to this is added a further essay to give the 
different levels at which its various courts stood above 
the level of the sea, it will be seen that these subjects 
alone, in their architectural importance and in their 
topographical value, exceed any others with which we 
have hitherto dealt in this department of our theme. 
Fortunately for the subject of our studies there is in 
each of these cases a well-known and authorized datum 
from which calculations may be made, which, if they 
be correct, should carry with them, within limits, 
the assent of all unprejudiced minds. 

In the case of the area the datum is the size given in 
Scripture to the two squares of which the court of the 
Mosaic Tabernacle consisted. Thirteen verses (8-20) 
of the thirty-eighth chapter of Exodus describe the 
area of these two courts, together with sundry par- 
ticulars of their enclosing curtains, entrances,, and 
standard pillars. These particulars have already been 
worked out in The Tabernacle volume, 1 and, with an 
eighteen-inch surveyor's cubit or land measure, give 

1 The Tabernacle: Its. History and Structure. Second edition, 1906. 



us a rectangular figure of 150 by 75 feet as the whole 
area enclosed by curtains. 

When the portable Tabernacle gave place to a solid 
stone Temple, the figures of its holy chambers were 
duplicated, and instead of cubes of twelve feet they 
were made to consist of three cubes of twenty-four feet 
each. In like manner the area to be enclosed, not now 
within curtains, but within walls of cut stone, was 
twice the size of that of the Tabernacle, being a 
square figure of 150 feet every way. 

There were other courts without those gates of plated 
brass which held this court in supreme sanctity, but 
these were not reckoned as being constituent parts of 
the Sanctuary of God, and had a lesser value, which put 
them outside the pale of interest when the second 
Temple in Jerusalem was built. 

Hence it happened that when Zerubbabel and his 
compeers built the Temple after the return from 
captivity, they again doubled its area — as we shall 
presently see. It now became a rectangular oblong 
of 300 feet in length, with half that width. This had 
been the size of the Temple as enlarged by the Kings. 1 
In this Temple Ezekiel, as a young man, had wor- 
shipped. When he drew plans for the future he 
accepted the old enlarged limits as those to be used 
in the new building, only giving to the whole area an 
equal sanctity, a quality which it did not before 

We now stand on the threshold of the time when the 
Herodian Temple had to be laid down, and it is from 
a consideration of its various measures that the above- 
given figures derive their validity, so that we are able 

1 See Solomon's Temple, 1908, pp. 297-319. 


to say, with an approach to mathematical certainty, 
that its area was again double that of the Temple of 
Zerubbabel 1 and reached to an enclosed space of exactly 
300 feet square. 

It is this space, within which stood all the chambers, 
courts, porticoes, and steps of the third Temple, to 
which we now give our attention ; knowing that if 
its measurements be authenticated they carry with 
them the evolution of all the earlier structures, and 
in their culmination fill up sundry vacancies in the 
earlier volumes of this series, which it was impossible 
to deal with until the data of the last of the series 
was before us. 

While, however, this 300-feet measure is the deter- 
minative of the whole scheme of site-area here laid 
down, let it be said at the outset that the Jewish 
authorities nowhere explicitly give it in its entirety 
as an asset of our calculations. It is to be arrived at 
solely by a strict attention to their communications 
and by a complete understanding, not only of what 
they say, but also a comprehension of those bitter 
prejudices which underlay their recorded measure- 
ments and prevented them from telling us that 250 
medium cubits or 200 large cubits was, in any sense, 
a measure of the Temple site. To have done so would 
have been to admit that the fourth of this space — 
which Herod secured for the accommodation of his non- 
Hebrew subjects — was a portion of the Temple ground. 
This they are unwilling to allow, and in their narrow- 
ness of feeling we have the key to their action in con- 

1 Josephus says (Ant. xv. u, i) that Herod made the Temple 'larger 
in compass' than it had been before; and (in Wari, 21, 1) that he sur- 
rounded with a wall [literally, breasted up] 'double the land that was 
before enclosed around it.' 


cealixig or suppressing these figures (items 88-102). J 
We can, however, arrive at them by a process of 
addition of minor figures which will give us the desired 
result, and which, checked by a similar process across 
the area, will assure us of their correctness. 

It is not necessary to assume that the Hebrew 
architects who planned the third Temple were ac- 
quainted with the old distinction which retained the 
large cubit of eighteen inches as a measure for the 
plotting of land ; or, if acquainted with it, that they 
used it. The probability is the other way. In the 
Temple which they pulled down at the bidding of 
Herod the altar had been built by this large cubit. 2 
Yet it was not used in its rebuilding, Middoth (iii. 1) 
remarking simply that ' when the children of the 
captivity came up they added to it iour cubits on the 
south and four cubits on the west,' to account for and 
authorize their own increase of it from being a square 
of 18 feet to be one of 24 feet, given as 20 cubits (item 
76) . The medium cubit of i\ feet is thus the only one 
with which we have to do in these pages, a fact which 
will greatly simplify our conception of the thing as it 
was — five such cubits equalling six feet. 

The Hebrew architects of Herod's time had before 
them the enclosed area of the second Temple, sur- 
rounded by walls of immense thickness. They had 
but to double this enclosed space by making the oblong 
into a square, and there was their site ! The distances 
given by the Rabbis within this enclosure are always 

1 Throughout these chapters the ' items ' referred to may be found in 
the first Appendix, where the textual references are given. Of the 150 
items there specified all are cited in these pages. 

a See The Second Temple in Jerusalem, 1908. Schedule of Specifica- 
tions, items 21-34, pp. 367-8, 


given in building or medium cubits. Wherever the 
Greek foot intruded itself, as it did in the Portico called 
Solomon's, there they omitted ii from their calcula- 
tions and measurements as an alien thing too unholy 
to form part of the Sanctuary of God. In the dis- 
cussion of the Jerusalem St 61a we have seen that there 
is every reason for believing it and its twenty-three 
fellows to have been cut under the direction of Greek 
architects. Accordingly this foreign measure and all 
that lay to the east of the greater Soreg, of which it 
formed the standard.are punctiliouslyexcluded from the 
maimed Middoth account of the Temple measurements 
as being outside of its range. Let us first see what their 
measures are and how far their records will lead us in 
reconstructing the Hebrew portion of the ground-plan 
of the third Temple before we deal with the Greek 
portion of the structure, already touched upon in 
Part I. 

In the architectural description of Appendix I we 
have, in items 88-94, with their references, six section 
distances, officially taken, from east to west, through 
the axis of the altar and the Temple. These total 
187 cubits or 224£ feet. This, in cubits, is given as being 
the measure of ' the whole court ' : meaning the lengtfi 
of the Naos and width of one part of the Hieron 
(Middoth v. 1). If, now, we take a parallel line with 
this one through the Women's Court and its chambers, 
we have the following figures :-*- 


Item 104, section through Treasury . . . . 135 
.. 105 ,, Gazith chamber (inferred) 40 

,> 108 ,, 'a level space of . . 10 



The deficiency of 2 cubits here is, on the plan, made 
up by giving a small covered way of this width running 
between the two chambers. This is architecturally 
necessary as a mode of exit from the interior to the 
outer court. The same total of 185 cubits is arrived 
at if we take a parallel section line through the 15 
broad steps, the particulars of which will read — 
counting from the east : — 

Level space of 
15 steps, each 5 cubits 
Thickness of wall of Treasury . . 
Section through Treasury opposite 
Entrance Gate 

Total 185 cubits 1 

To the 187 cubits thus obtained we have to add 63 
others to arrive at the total of 250, which make up the 
300 feet of which it is affirmed the Tr enclosure con- 
Let us see how these may have been accounted for. 
To width of Gentile half of the Soreg . . J cubit 
To width of Jewish half of the Soreg . . £ 
To steps and passage-way in Chel . . 10 cubits 
To deduced width of Solomon's Portico 52 „ 

10 ' 








Total 63 cubits 

On the general coincidence of this with the totals of 
10 cubits in items 111-13, and 52 cubits in items 115- 
20, with the single cubit of the Soreg, it may be re- 
marked that while the line of division between the 

1 The two extra cubits requisite in this line are given to the foot of the 
broad steps, and in a line still more to the south are added to the length 
of the lesser Sanhedrin hall. 


Jewish and Gentile portions of the Temple is here 
supposed to lie outside of either portion, the true line 
of demarcation between the two ran down the centre 
of the Soreg, leaving one half of the partition to each 
nationality, and as 63 cubits equal 75f feet it will 
appear that the actual line of division was precisely 
on the 75-feet line of the architect's plan. In this 
exact way was cut off one-fourth of the 300-feet square 
for the use of the proselytes from other nations. 

If now we take section measurements of this 300-feet 
square the other way, i.e. from north to south, a 
singular fact emerges. It is, that whereas the half of 
250 cubits is 125 cubits, we have two statements giving 
us 135 cubits lengths in item 103 and items 95-102. 
But the items of these two measures were not con- 
tinuous ones, and were not taken on the same line of 
axis. In each case 10 cubits are taken from the other 
half of the Enclosure in order to make up a requisite 
distance. It was to conceal this fact that, in item 102, 
Middoth withholds the actual figure, but says ' the 
remainder.' No doubt however can exist as to this 
remainder being 25 cubits, making up the 135. A 
glance at the Plan will show that in consequence of the 
form of construction here brought to light, neither the 
inner court or Naos containing the Temple proper, 
nor the outer court containing the Treasury and other 
buildings, was a four-sided rectangular figure, the 
minor measure in each case being 115 cubits — making 
up the 250. From this fact we learn as a matter of 
draughtsmanship that the length of each of the broad 
steps of the approach to the Treasury was 35 cubits, 
this being the width to spare, when all the others are 


Having now provisionally ascertained the enclosed 
site of the Herodian Temple to have been a square of 
a hundred yards, 1 we may attempt the further question 
of its levels as they stood in the completed building. 
We at once put ourselves under the guidance of the 
Mishna, as Middoth tells us ' all the steps which were 
there were half a cubit high and the tread half a cubit, 
except those of the porch ' (ii. 3), which, another sec- 
tion tells us, had a height of half a cubit and a breadth 
of a whole cubit (hi. 4). From this important generali- 
zation we must further except the noble approach to 
the Court of the Women or Treasury, which consisted 
not so much of ' steps ' as of a succession of thresholds 
or landings. These were fifteen in number, and had 
a width of 6 feet and a length of 42 feet (item 107). 
It is architecturally correct to give to such ascents a 
very low gradient, and these had no more than a total 
rise in their whole extent of 2 J cubits, or 3 feet. These 
then being outside the statement as to the height of 
the steps, we may proceed to investigate the bearing 
of the steps proper in determining the levels to which 
they led — this being the only way in which it can be 

The datum from which we start is the lately ascer- 
tained height of the base of the Sakhrah Stone above 
the Mediterranean. The pavement now around the 
Stone is 2440 feet above the sea. It is likely that this 

1 On this singular coincidence between the Hebrew and the British 
measures, I may say that if the foot be divided into tenths instead of into 
twelfths we shall have the Babylonian original from which both measures 
were derived. Three such tenths ( = 3 '6 ins. ) give us the palm, of which 
three made the small or sacred cubit of the Jews, four the building cubit, 
and five the cubit by which areas were calculated. A common origin thus 
makes English measures 0/ length commensurate with those of the Holy 
Land in biblical times. 


is practically the ancient level : the argument being 
that the Stone rises some 5 feet above the marble 
pavement around it, while the platform of the altar, 
of which the Sakhrah formed a part, never rose above 
and never declined below a measure of 6 feet above the 
floor of the court in which it stood (item 78). 

A visitor entering the great East Gate of the 
Herodian Temple would do so by ascending a single 
step above the level of the outside Chel or terrace. 
Such a step was necessary for purposes of drainage, 
as the Temple area being largely unroofed and the 
rainfall in Jerusalem equalling that in London, the 
drain which ran across the whole length of the Gentile 
Court, in the four-cubit passage-way of item 113, had 
its outlet at one of the great gates by which it was 
flanked, and demanded some such fall. It is also 
necessary in order to complete the symmetrical number 
of cubits — being tens or fractions of tens — by which 
the levels of the Temple area were determined. Ascend- 
ing this threshold step, and crossing the great Portico 
named after Solomon, which is described as facing the 
gates of the Temple {Ant. xv. n § 3), he would ascend 
fourteen narrow steps in order to arrive at, and pass 
through, the Soreg, the two upper steps of which were 
built in its width. He would now stand on a level 
which was that of the two courts for men and for 
priests and on the upper and built-up face of the 
Sakhrah Stone. Here he would descend one of the 
flights of ten steps on either side of the great altar and 
find himself on the datum level with which we began 
these calculations, and from which the height of the 
Temple was reckoned. It may seem strange that the 
sacred shrine of so many generations of poets and saints 


should be placed in a hollow and be surrounded by 
elevations rising slightly above it. Two considerations, 
however, are to be borne in mind. One, that the site 
of the altar was unalterable. The other, that two 
conduits brought water from a distance to the Temple 
courts for its many purgations, and that on this account 
also a moderately low level was requisite. Standing 
beside the twelve steps which led from the floor of the 
altar into the Temple itself, and which do not come into 
this account, the visitor found himself to be five 
steps, or 2\ cubits, above the ground level outside, 
and nearly as much above the floor of the great 
cloister of the proselytes — having ascended fifteen 
steps and descended ten. 

Continuing his advance the visitor would now ascend 
the fifteen circular steps at gate numbered 12, which 
brought him to the highest floor within the courts of 
the Lord's house, it being 10 cubits, or 12 feet, above 
the level of the ground outside, and 9 feet above the 
datum about the altar (item 135). 

Two modes of exit were now open to him from the 
Treasury Court in which he stood. By descending 
the broad way of the fifteen thresholds he would lose 
z\ cubits in height. The fourteen steps of the Soreg, 
added to the single step of the entrance, would now 
bring him to the level of the outer Chel from which he 
had started. 

Should he, on the other hand, elect to leave the 
Treasury Court by its southern gate (No. 1), which 
was the usual place of departure for men, he would 
find only the ten steps of item 136. By them he would 
descend 5 cubits, and find himself on that raised bank 
of sloping earth which is mentioned by one of the 


evangelists (John xix. 13), It lay without the 
Enclosure of the Temple walls, and it was on this 
slightly raised pavement that Pilate placed his judg- 
ment seat, and here he pronounced, amid shouts of 
execration, the condemnation of Jesus. 1 

1 In 1903 the Rev. Henry Evans, D.D., wrote :— ' Gabbatha was a 
raised stone pavement or platform fronting the Temple courts, from which 
Pilate delivered up Jesus to be crucified. Its stones are said to be in the 
cellars of the Convent of the Sisters of Zion.' — Biblical Antiquities, p. 253, 
of (he Bible Readers' Manual. Collins and Co. 


AGATE presupposes a wall in which it stands and 
of which it forms, practically, a part. The 
Enclosure wall in which most of the thirteen gates of 
the Temple stood was one of extraordinary strength. 
Josephus says that it was 8 cubits in thickness =9§ 
feet (item 150). This is an instance of the Hebrew 
objection to use any fraction of the cubit in building 
temples, as the measure of 7J cubits would have given 
them 9 feet, which was the through dimension of that 
of the second Temple wall, which was 6 cubits of ij 
feet each. 1 

We have in the Jewish historian's pages a narrative 
of the burning of the Temple and of some of its con- 
comitants which throws a strong and lurid light upon 
the general tragedy that took place there — at the same 
time that it illustrates the position of the buildings 
and of this outer wall in particular, as shown on the 
Temple plan. It there appears that the wall of the 
Enclosure stood n cubits behind the west gable of 
the Temple (item 94). A partial breach in the En- 
closure 2 was made at the northern, or No. 5, gate, 
some stones of which being removed in the attack 
make intelligible a story of heroism which Josephus 

1 See item I in schedule of specifications given on p. 365 of The Second 
Temple in Jerusalem, 1908. Comp. War vi. 5 § 1. 

3 Called by Josephus ' the first wall,' i.e. the outer wall of the defence. 
War vi. 2 § J. 



narrates. When the gates of the Enclosure had been 
set fire to, and the crisis of battle had come, some of the 
priests of the Temple mounted its roof and there pelted 
the assailants with the spikes that were on its ridge 
(item 14). These they tore from their leaded sockets 
and hurled at the Romans. The Temple itself was 
not yet ablaze, but the great heat from the collection 
of rooms on its northern side, as they burned, com- 
pelled these men to leave the Sanctuary roof. Josephus, 
almost certainly an eye witness, says, "They then retired 
to the wall, 1 which was eight cubits broad, and there 
they stayed." Two of them, whom he names, threw 
themselves into the burning pile, and so perished 
nobly. Others maintained themselves on the Enclo- 
sure wall for four days, having, by an artifice, secured 
a little water. On the fifth day of their imprisonment 
hunger compelled them to capitulate. By this time 
the Temple itself had been destroyed, and in ordering 
these suppliants for mercy to execution, Titus drily 
remarked that it was fitting that priests should perish 
with the Temple in which they had served. The whole 
account of this incident (War vi. 5 § 1 and vi. 6 § 1) 
becomes clear when we have before us the topography 
of the Temple and its immediate surroundings. Till 
then the whole story of the siege is a confused blur of 
words, for which Josephus is not to be blamed ; maps, 
plans, and diagrams being necessary to the under- 
standing of any, even the most lucid history of battle, 
siege, and sudden death. 

The thirteen gates in the walls about the Temple 
were not all in its outer line of defence — formerly known 

1 The passage from one to the other may have been effected by the use 
of the ladder which a later page tells us was available at this point. 


as the Tr, but in these pages as the Enclosure — nor 
were they all of one size. If we, first, take those in the 
circumvallation, all of which had a height of 24 feet 
(items 121-3), corresponding with that of the wall in 
which they stood, we shall find that here, as elsewhere, 
our information is tainted by that spirit of pharisaic 
bigotry which dominates the writings of the Rabbis 
of this time. From this spirit Josephus is free, his 
larger intercourse with Roman officers and gentlemen 
having liberated his mind, as it did that of Paul, from 
much Jewish exclusiveness. He has his own faults as 
an historian, but they were not those of racial pride 
and intellectual arrogance. 

He gives us two estimates, or rather records, of the 
number of gates in the northern and southern walls 
of the Enclosure. These differ, but there is no dis- 
crepancy in his account, as he is careful in each case 
to tell us within what limits the gates stood to which 
he refers. We take, first, that passage in his Antiqui- 
ties (xv. 11 § 5) in which, after referring to the whole 
area of the porticoes, including that known as Solo- 
mon's, which he calls the first enclosure (i.e. the whole 
sacred area of the Temple Enclosure), he tells us that 
in the midst of it and not far from it (i.e. not wholly 
separate and not apart, as might be supposed) was a 
second enclosure to be ascended to by a few steps (i.e. 
those fourteen in number), which enclosure was pro- 
tected from the entrance of aliens by a stonewall bearing 
inscriptions (i.e.tha.t of the Warning Stone of the Soreg). 

He adds : — 

' This inner enclosure [namely, that within the 
Soreg] had on its south and north sides three 
gates [i.e. three to each side] equidistant from 


one another, and, in addition, on the east, 

toward the sun-rising, was one large gate [i.e. 

one larger than the others].' 

There can be no uncertainty here as there is no 

obscurity. The six gates spoken of lay to the west of 

the Soreg, and were placed at equal distances from one 

another, that distance being 60 cubits, or 75 feet. They 

are so drawn on the plan, and present a picture of 

symmetrical beauty in such a protective walling for 

the Temple as the Enclosure was intended to be. 

When Josephus wrote his War, twenty years before 
the Antiquities, he found it necessary to give a fuller 
account of the Temple and its surroundings than he 
did after it was destroyed, the reason for the earlier 
amplification being that the strife raged most furiously 
around and about the Temple, and all its elements 
had to be recognized. That was the Badajos of the 
campaign, and when the Temple fell the rest was easy. 
To prepare the way for the more easy apprehension of 
his war narrative he tells us more in his fifth book about 
the topography of the Temple than he afterwards did. 
Here again he speaks of the whole area included within 
the six furlongs of porticoes as ' a space exposed to 
the air [i.e. with one side of each portico open] and 
laid with stones of various sorts.' Belonging to this 
space we must reckon, as he did, that open cloister 
known as Solomon's Portico. 1 This, in the mind of 
every Jew, had of necessity a lower sanctity than the 
part of the Temple to which Jews alone might find 
entrance. And from the language of Josephus in 
both of his treatises we learn that its degree of sanctity 

1 It was so called by Herod because it stood largely on the site on 
which Solomon's porches had stood. See the ground plan of these in the 
diagram of Solomon's Temple. 


was no higher than that of the ground without the 
walls of the Enclosure. This variation in value was 
held as a fundamental truth by every Hebrew of the 
time, as it embodied in visible form that racial dis- 
tinction in which he and his differed from every other 
person under the sun. A Jew never forgot, he never 
could forget, that he was a son of Abraham, and that 
others were not. 

Even the liberalizing process through which Josephus 
had passed could not free him from this essential mark 
of the Jew, and as an historian he had but to record 
what he knew — whether he approved of it or not. 
Hence we read : — 

' When you went through this space [i.e. Solomon's 
Portico] to the second Temple there was a 
partition of stone whose height was three cubits, 
of very elegant construction. . . . The second 
Temple was called the holy place, and had an 
ascent of fourteen steps from the first Temple. 
. . . These steps led to the gates, which gates 
on the north and south sides were eight — on 
each of these sides four.' (War v. 5 § 2.) 

The harmonizing fact between these two accounts 
is that the ' gates equidistant from one another ' were 
three on each of two sides, north and south, of the 
Enclosure, which gates are numbered 1 to 6 on the 
accompanying Plan ; but that two extra gates were 
built in the 75 feet of walling space which lay to the 
east of these six gates ; these being numbered 8 and 9, 
and might be, or might not be, reckoned as coming 
within the category of those belonging to the true 
Temple. No worshipping Jew ever entered them. 



Hucksters, cattle and sheep did. so, as well as Gentile 
converts to Judaism. 

If we now turn from Josephus to the Mishna for what 
it says on the subject of these principal gates of the 
Enclosure we shall find the same distinction as we 
have seen in Josephus. There are in Middoth two 
accounts of these gates, both mentioning the Nicanor 
Gate, one of which gives the total number as seven, 
and the other of which gives it as nine — not including 
the four wickets of the catalogue. It may be of interest 
to put these two lists side by side, as each of them gives 
the name by which every gate was known, or for which 
it was used, and we are thus inducted into some of 
the mysteries of the ancient Temple worship. 


There were seven gates in 
the court, three on the north, 
three on the south, and one on 
the east. 

i. On the south were — 

1. The Gate of Burning, or 

of Kindling Wood. 

2. The Gate of the First- 
- born. 

3. The Water Gate. 

ii. That on the east was — 
1. The Gate of Nicanor. 

iii. On the north were — 

1. The Gate Nitsutz. 

2. The Gate of Offering. 

3. The Beth Moked. 

Middoth i. 4, 5. 

There were thirteen gates- 

i. The southern were (be- 
ginning on the west) — 

1. The Upper Gate. 

2. The Gate of Burning. 

3. The Gate of the First- 


4. The Water Gate. 

ii. Opposite to them, on the 
north, were (beginning 
on the west) — 

1. The Gate of Jeconiah. 

2. The Gate of Offering. 

3. The Gate of the Women. 

4. The Gate of the Soreg. 
iii. That on the east was — 

1. ( The Gate of Nicanor, 

2. ) and it had two wickets, 

3. \ one on its right and 
f the other on its left. 

4. / The two wicket gates on 

5. \ the west had no name. 

Middoth ii. 6. 


There are many evidences in the tractate from 
which these extracts are taken that the men who 
composed it were men of extreme age, their memories 
failing them again and again in small points such as 
the order of the steps before the Temple porch, the 
inclusion or non-inclusion of the combing on the ridge 
of the Temple in its hundred cubits of height. We 
have another instance of their inexactitude in the first 
list of names given to the seven principal gates of the 
Enclosure, in which the order of the names in the 
third part as compared with that in ii. of the second 
list is inverted. It will, perhaps, be well to take the 
gates in the order of their numbering on the Plan and 
say a few words on each. We begin with the south 

No. i. ' The Upper Gate.' This was the historical 
name for this entrance. The gate that stood here in 
the second Temple had been built by Jotham in the 
eighth century B.C., and is mentioned under this name 
by Jeremiah in the next century (Jer. xxxvi. 10). 
Its sill, then as now, was higher than that of any 
other gate of the Enclosure. Hence its name, and hence 
our ease in identifying it. 

Another name for it was ' The Gate of Burning,' 
though the Rabbis give it a separate number. This 
was the gate through which the wood for the altar 
fires was carried. In Column I of the Middoth extracts 
it is given as the first of the three recognized gates of 
the Temple Enclosure toward the west — which indeed 
it was. A consultation of the Temple Plan will show 
that this was the natural entrance for those voluntary 
burden-bearers who carried loads for the woodhouse 
near the altar. It was, as a consequence, the same as 


the Upper Gate and is not entitled to a number as if 
it were a separate entrance. 

No. 2, ' The Gate of the Firstborn.' This gate led 
into the archive chamber of the Temple, where all 
genealogies and records were kept. Here was entered 
the pedigree of each noble family, and here, doubtless, 
the infant Jesus was written down as a son of David. 
By the Mosaic law the firstborn of each cow and ewe 
belonged to the Temple, and the entry of its gift in 
value was made here, as also a record of all vows made. 

No. 3. ' The Water Gate.' It was through or near 
this gate that the overflow drainage of the Temple 
found an outlet, attention having already been called 
to the drain which ran across the area at the foot of 
the Soreg steps, and which emptied itself into the 
Kidron drain from this point. 

Of the gates in the north wall the order differs in 
Columns I. and II., and those mentioned in iii. of the 
former column are to be read in the reverse order to 
that in which they are given. 

No. 4. ' The Gate of Jeconiah ' and the House 
Moked were one and the same. The former name 
was given in memory of an historical event which no 
Jew could forget, as out of it the last independent 
Hebrew King passed when he went into captivity. 
The other name was modern, meaning the house of 
stoves, because in it the priests, who served barefoot 
in the Temple, 1 went and warmed themselves at its 
charcoal fires. It was, in fact, a kind of priestly ante- 

1 Compare Exodus iii. 5, ' Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the 
place whereon thou standest is holy ground.' Shoes or sandals, when 
made of leather, interposed parts of a dead animal between the worshipper 
and the ground, and thus denied it. This rule is universally observed in 
the East. 


room to the Temple, and served many purposes. 
(Middoth i. 5-9.) 

No. 5. ' The Gate of Offering.' Outside of the gate 
corresponding to this one in the second Temple had 
stood the slaughtering house. All living sacrifices in 
each of the three Temples entered here or hereabouts, 
a fact which sufficiently explains its name. 

No. 6. To this gate several names are appended. 
It was called ' The Gate of the Soreg ' because one end 
of the partition ended at its centre. It was called 
' The Gate of the Women ' because those female wor- 
shippers who had visited the Court of the Women were 
not allowed to go out by the usual place of exit for 
men (the civil law court sitting outside the exit), but 
were compelled to leave the Temple by the eastern 
half of this gate, or of its corresponding one opposite, 
i.e. that portion below the Soreg, the other half 
of the gate being reserved to the Levites, who 
came and went on their duty as singers in the Temple 
choir. They trod the threshold of its western half, 
hence called ' The Gate of Song.' The whole bore the 
official name, ' The Gate Nitsutz,' i.e. sparkling. 

We have now gone over the principal names given 
in the two lists of the Jewish tractate and find that the 
distinction in number and in names of gates between 
its first and its second chapters is a purely fictitious 
one. To avoid the mention of the two Gentile gates 
and yet to preserve something like verisimilitude, 
eight gates are named, but in two cases alternative 
names are given to the same gate, and but six gates 
are referred to. Could the force of theological 
prejudice go further ? This lapse from candour cannot 
be put down to failure of memory. It is too cunningly 


done, and it remains a standing memorial of that pride 
of race which, even in their defeat and fall, charac- 
terized the Jew of the first century, and which after- 
wards led to the destruction both of his nation and 
his Temple. 

Meanwhile the large gates at the end of the great 
cloister, known as the Portico of Solomon, remain 
without names ; but of the fact of their existence there 
is no doubt, as both Josephus and the Rabbis agree 
that there was a fourth gate on each of these two sides 
of the Temple Enclosure, and the latter of the two 
authorities in saying that there were eight gates on the 
north and south testifies to their size in the words, 
'All the gateways and gates which were there were 
20 cubits high and 10 cubits broad" (Middoth ii. 6). 
On the Plan they are given as numbers 8 and 9. 

These eight gates together with their side posts and 
lintels, and another to be described in the next chapter, 
are said to have been covered on both sides with gold 
and silver, the precious metal for which was contributed 
by Alexander, father of the Roman Emperor Tiberius. 
It is possible that the inner side of each gate was 
gilded, though Josephus speaks of ' plates of gold ' ; 
and the outer side covered with thin plates of silver 
in order to secure it from being burnt by an enemy ; 
a futile precaution, as Josephus saw the silver melting 
on the storming of the Enclosure and the burning of 
its gates (War v. 5 § 3 and vi. 4 § 2). But he also says 
that, on the fall of the Temple, spoil was so abundant 
that gold fell to half its former value (War vi. 6 § 1). 

No. 7. The artistic and architectural glory of the 
Herodian Temple was its seventh gate, which gave 
entrance to all, save priests, Levites, and Gentiles, 


who entered the Temple. This gate was, as the others 
were, a wooden structure with bars let into the walling 
on either side, but it was also a chef d'ceuvre, wrought 
in Corinthian brass, the amalgam consisting of copper 
and silver, instead of copper and one-tenth tin, as 
was common in ancient bronzes. It was of Alexandrian 
origin, and the weight of each of its two leaves was 
such that though running upon iron bars — roller 
wheels were unknown — it took ten men to swing it to 
and fro at opening and closing. There can be no 
reasonable doubt that this portal of Corinthian brass, 
described by Josephus as being ' outside the sanctuary,' 
i.e. lying without the Soreg, was the Nicanor Gate of 
the Rabbis, and the Gate Beautiful of the Book of 
Acts (items 124-9). It was almost the only true 
work of plastic art in the Temple, and as such had a 
pre-eminent reputation. 1 

Nos. 10 and 11 were wicket-gates lying behind the 
Temple (item 130), Middoth ii. 6 telling us that they 
had no name. In this connection it is noticeable that, 
when speaking of the Women's Court, Josephus says, 
' The western side of this court had no wall at all, but 
the wall was built entire on that side ' (War v. 5 § 2). 
It is so shown on the Plan. 

No. 12. ' The Gate Abtinas.' Two gates alone 
seem to have stood within the stone enclosure. These 
interior gates are not mentioned in Middoth, their 
place in the foregoing list (II) being taken by the two 
wickets of the Nicanor Gate. But the first paragraph 
of the tractate Middoth may assist us in determining 
the position of one of them. It states that at five of 

1 The references to this gate in Josephus are — War ii. 17 § 3 ; v. 5 § 3 ; 
vi. 5 § 3. For its dimensions, see items 124-6. Compare ' Note' at end 
of chapter. 


the gates which led into the Temple Levites kept watch, 
and the priests kept watch in the following gates : — 

1. In the House Abtinas. 

2. In the House Nitsutz. 

3. In the House Moked. 

Here is one superfluous watch, as we know that to 
them there were but seven principal gates (i.e. those 
above, numbered 1 to 7 inclusive). The gate named 
the ' House of Abtinas ' is the surplus one here, and 
from the fact that it was one of the three in which the 
priests kept guard, we may conclude that it opened 
on to the Priests' Court, and was near the Temple, as 
were Nitsutz and Moked. Between these two was 
the Gate of Offering, or the slaughter-house of the 
Temple, which was one of the five exterior gates left 
in charge of the Levites. 

The House of Abtinas (items 131-2) stood below 
the fifteen steps which led from the Court of the Women 
to the Naos area on which the Temple stood (Middoth 
ii § 5) . These steps are described as having been, not 
rectangular, but circular, ' like the half of a threshing- 
floor,' and on them the Temple choir of Levites sang. 
By them all the sacrificial meats were carried from 
the altar, and, in the passage behind the Temple, to 
the feasting colonnades. There is abundant evidence, 
in the account of the civil struggles that preceded the 
war with Rome, that a wall ran between these two 
courts — which divided the combatants in each of them 
from one another. This wall and these steps involve 
a gate, which in all likelihood adjoined the House 
of Abtinas : the house itself being a continuation and 
superstructure of the little portico with which each of 


the principal gates was furnished on its inner side. 
We have seen that the south gate in the Women's 
Court was the ' Upper Gate ' of egress from the Temple 
to all male worshippers. The north gate of the same 
court, opposite to it, is the one allocated as being the 
Gate of the House of Abtinas. 

This view receives some countenance from the 
personal name associated with this gate. Edersheim 
states that Abtinas was the name of a family in which 
the occult mode of preparing the Temple incense had 
been preserved (The Temple, p. 134). However this 
may be, we know that incense was burned twice daily 
in the Temple, and that when compounded according 
to the directions of Exodus xxx. 34-8, it was deemed 
to be ' most holy.' While holy things could be carried 
into the outer court of the Temple, the most holy were 
not allowed to leave the Court of the Priests, or the 
immediate vicinity of the Temple. This fact is, there- 
fore, in favour of seeking the house of the maker of 
incense within this court. The south side of the 
Temple, being otherwise unoccupied, was its most 
probable position. We infer that the lodge, or 
chamber, in which the spices for the incense were 
kept, and in which the incense itself was beaten, stood 
above the little porch of gate No. 12. 

The chamber itself is not shown on the Plan, as, 
like its fellows at No. 4 and No. 6, it was raised above 
the floor of the court, and stood above the porch or 
gate-house. 1 

No. 13. That thirteen was the number of the gates 
in the Enclosure of the Temple further appears from 
the stations at which watch was kept by night in the 

1 Each of them was 'a kind of exhedra with an upper room built over 
it, in which the priests watched by night, the Levites being below.' 


house of the Lord. The distribution of the Temple 
guards is given in the opening paragraph of Middoth. It 
states that the priests kept watch at the three gates 
whose names are given above : of which we have seen 
that two were outer gates in the north wall, and one 
an interior gate to the south of the Temple. For the 
rest, it states that five Levites guarded the five gates 
leading into the Temple, thus completing the guardian- 
ship of the seven principal gates — the two principal 
entrances of the Temple having a double guard of both 
priests and Levites. 

The record adds to this the statement that other 
five Levites watched at the five gates of the court. 
Two of these must have been stationed at the entrances 
for Gentiles, two at the western posterns behind the 
Temple, and one remains unappropriated. Is it 
possible to define his position ? History will be our 
best guide here. Describing the ' second Temple ' 
{War v. 5 § 2), which corresponds with the Women's 
Court in Middoth (ii. § 5) and ' the Treasury ' of John 
viii. 20, Josephus tells us that the women had their 
own gate 1 (item 133), which when they had passed 
they were not allowed to pass through the other gates, 
nor go beyond their own wall of partition, in which it 
stood. The ascent to this gate was by fifteen steps, 
each of five cubits broad. It was up these steps and 
through this gate that the woman taken in adultery 
was led when brought to Jesus as He taught in the 
Temple (John viii. 2). An expression used by Jose- 
phus {War v. 5 § 2), descriptive of the position of this 

1 The Puritan student of these things is right in saying ' the entering 
in to the Court of the Women was by three gates — one to the east, one on 
the north, and one on the south.' — Lightfoot's Prospect of the Temple, 
chap, xviii. § 9. 


gate, must not be understood in its severe literalness, 1 
though it is, in a general sense, exactly true. It is 
that the Women's Gate ' was cut opposite the first 
gate,' i.e. the gate of first entrance, or Nicanor. These 
two gates were not only on slightly different levels, 
but one was some fifty yards to the south of the other. 
Their relative positions may be seen by a reference 
to the Plan, and it will be agreed that it is not an unfair 
or unusual thing to have popularly described gate 
No. 13 as having been 'opposite' to gate No. 7. 
Each was the east gate of its court, and is spoken of 
by Josephus as a ' necessity ' of the case, every wor- 
shipper being compelled to turn away from the rising 
sun on entering the Temple. 2 

The coincidence of numbers between the thirteen 
lengths of masonry in the Soreg, shown in chapter 
XXIII., and the gates of the Temple Enclosure did not 
escape the notice of the Rabbis, and is referred to in 
Middoth ii. 6 as a reminiscence of Rabban Jose ben 
Khanan. The ancient Hebrews were, further, not 
unlikely to see in this figure an analogy to the tribes 
of Israel, the tribe of Levi forming the thirteenth. 


1. The Beautiful Gate of the Temple 

Our conceptions of this masterpiece of art in the 
Temple are to be dominated by the fact that the wall 
in which it stood was part of a great defensive work. 
It would have been an act of criminal folly to have 
built walls of nine or ten feet in thickness to protect the 

1 ivTiKpi kwtIl ixiaaov, Iliad 16, 285, may perhaps be cited as a 
classical precedent. It seems to indicate that iv-nxpi might not necessarily 
imply /card jj.4(T(rov. 

2 Compare The Second Temple in Jerusalem, 1908, pp. 354-5. 


Temple from the intrusions of an enemy, and then to 
have left one of its gates so weak that it could easily 
be broken through. As a matter of act, this gate was 
one of the strongest of the nine which stood in the 
Enclosure wall, the breach being made elsewhere. 
After the Temple was burnt, the Roman army brought 
their standards to a spot opposite this still standing 
gate, and there offered sacrifices to them amid a 
scene of riotous camp festival. 

There are in Southern Italy many examples of 
bronze gates standing before cathedrals and churches, 
all of which are Byzantine work of the tenth and 
twelfth centuries, and may be the artistic continuation 
of those of the earlier centuries of Alexandrian work. 
These gates are of three kinds. Some of the smaller 
ones are cast in whole pieces. Others consist of bronze 
plates with a backing of timber, the plates themselves 
being repousse work, i.e. highly embossed and elabor- 
ately hand-wrought. Those of the Cathedral of 
Ravello, near Amalfi, consist of bronze panels resting 
on timber, showing designs of Scripture subjects, the 
panels being divided by arabesque designs of delicate 
tracery with rosettes in high relief at the corners. 

In a third class of bronze gates with wooden backing, 
the metal plates are very much thicker, so as to admit 
of grooves being cut in them. Into these grooves, 
which sometimes take the form of inscriptions, molten 
silver was run. The effect is very fine. Owing to the 
great weight of the Temple gates, as recorded by 
Josephus, together with the fact that the Jews did not 
make the likeness of anything in heaven or on earth as 
decorations to their Temple, we are inclined to think 
that this was the motive of the Nicanor Gate — the 


subjects of ornamentation being geometric figures, 
chevrons, and the like. 

2. The Women's Gates of Exit 

Having mentioned the principal gates of the En- 
closure, Josephus labours to make plain the structural 
conditions applicable to women worshippers in the 
Temple. This he does in War v. 5 § 2, the latter part 
of which paragraph states the case for the restraints 
put upon them. In doing this he speaks of ' one south 
and one north gate, through which was a passage into 
the Court of the Women,' and says they were ' on the 
other sides ' of the Temple from the east, that is on 
the north and south. Gates No. 3 and No. 6 are 
meant, and if their position with regard to the Soreg be 
looked at, it will be seen that each of its two ends cuts 
these gates in twain, one leaf of each gate giving access 
to the Temple— as understood by the Jews — and one 
not doing so. In each case it was the more easterly of 
these leaves that gave exit to the women as they left 
the Temple. Middoth ii. 6 illustrates and confirms this 
usage by giving to No. 6 gate two names : the Gate of 
the Women and of Music. 

No doubt can exist as to the reason for the restric- 
tion. No. 1, the ordinary gate of exit from the Women's 
Court, opened at Gabbatha, and was the Gate of Justice 
for Israel. The passing of women at such times would 
have been a grave inconvenience. They were therefore 
forbidden to use this gate, and men only might do so. 

No. 6 gate, having two names, is to be understood 
of the fact that by one of its leaves the Levitical 
choristers entered or left, and by the other leaf the 
women departed — as they also did by the corresponding 
exit on the opposite side. 


IN the immediately preceding chapter the fact is 
noted that a gate, said by Josephus to have been 
larger than any other and to have been more lavishly 
adorned (War v. 5 § 3), was not there identified and 

He does not say that it was one of the thirteen gates 
of the Enclosure, but rather the opposite. We cannot 
confound it with the Nicanor Gate, as that was of 
Corinthian brass and did not admit of being overlaid 
with plates of bullion. Moreover, the beauty of this 
gate was such that some are said to have believed that 
its leaves of brass glittered like gold because a miracle 
had given to them a brightness above that of earth 
(Middothii. 3). 

This unknown gate, and not Nicanor, was the ninth 
gate which participated in the gift of the noble Roman. 
Eight have already been accounted for, being those 
on either side of the Enclosure. Beside this one, now 
to be discussed, there were no others which shared his 

Its situation is indicated in the pregnant words : — 

' The gate beyond the Corinthian Gate — which gate 
opened on the east, opposite the Gate of the 
Sanctuary — was much larger, for its height was 


fifty cubits and its doors forty cubits, and it was 
adorned in a more costly manner, having much 
richer and thicker plates of silver and gold than 
the others.' 

This was not, therefore, one of the gates of the 
Temple Enclosure, and is to be looked for in the outer 
wall which encircled, as a crown, the Temple hill, and 
in that part of it which overhung the Valley of the 
Kidron. Its situation being beyond that of the 
Corinthian Gate, it is further described as an opening 
on the east (i.e. the extreme of the site is to be under- 
stood), and as standing opposite to another Gate 
named by Josephus ' The Gate of the Sanctuary,' this 
being the second of the two which form the subject of 
this chapter. 

From time immemorial there had stood a gate or 
gates where now stands the well-known Golden Gate 
of Jerusalem. Its history goes back to the revolution 
that took place in the regency of Jehoiada and the 
death of Athaliah in 853 B.C. It was then known as 
the ' Gate Tsur ' (2 Kings xi. 6) or as the Gate Yesod 
(2 Chron.xxiii.5), both names having similar meanings. 1 

But the geological facts of the case carry the history 
of this gate further back than the middle of the ninth 
century b.c. The wall in which the Golden Gate stands, 
rests, for its whole length, upon the living rock lying 
below, without any intervention of earth or soil. At 
one particular point in the length of this eastern wall 
there is a rocky projection or spur from the main 
ridge of Moriah (of which the Sakhrah rock is the index), 
which horn of rock in the line of walling is some thirty 

1 See Solomon's Temple, 2nd Edition, 1908, pp. 109-10. 


feet below the present surface of the soil. North and 
south of this spur the depth of the soil above the rock 
is much greater than this. Here then, alone, was it 
possible to build a substructure and superstructure of 
great weight with the least expenditure of time and 
money. Accordingly it was so done, though the site 
was some seventy or eighty yards further to the north 
than was ideally desirable. The most coveted site, of 
course, was one lying due east of the Altar of Sacrifice, 
and one in line with the Temple and the great East 
Gate. But to build here was not practicable, and the 
sacrifice of uniformity of aspect was made, with the 
result that we have before us in the situation of the 
Golden Gate the site originally adopted. 

This argument, however, carries with it other 
results than these. One is, to date back the creation 
of the famous east wall of the Temple hill to the time 
of the Kings, as it is unlikely that the lie of the rock 
and the projecting spur toward the Kidron should 
have been discovered in any other way than by digging 
a trench for a foundation the whole length of the wall. 
The name, ' Gate of the Foundation ' (2 Chron. 
xxiii. 5), would thus acquire a new and fuller signifi- 
cance than is usually given to it. It also has its bearing 
upon the age of all the Haram walls, a vexed question 
upon which it is not necessary here to enter. 

It is when we turn our faces down the stream of 
Time that we again meet with indubitable tokens of 
the existence, in post-Babylonian times, of the gate 
which then stood here. Ezekiel — whose prophetic 
period is 593~57o b.c. 1 — in his forty-third chapter, 

1 Murray's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Chronology O.T., Period of 
the Prophets, p. 162. 


speaks of two East Gates to the Temple, in one of 
Which he stood, while in the other ' the glory of the 
Lord,' i.e. the Shechinah cloud, came from the way of 
the east and entered the house by the way of the gate 
whose prospect is toward the east. 

After further examination of the subject, let me 
repeat the conclusion formerly arrived at, that 'the 
gate having its prospect toward the east ' was rightly 
named, inasmuch as it was that one which then stood 
in line with the axis of the altar and the Temple ; while 
the one from which Ezekiel saw the vision was a gate 
on the foundation of the Tsur Gate, and is, with equal 
topographical accuracy, described as ' the gate that 
looked toward the east.' It is evident that two gates 
are meant, as Ezekiel expressly disclaims having stood 
in the gate through which the cloud that shone on 
the earth passed, in its way to the inner sanctuary. 1 
The gate that ' looked ' is further detailed by him as 
being ' the outer gate of the sanctuary ' (Ezek. xliv. 
i) ; the whole tendency of this part of his writings is 
to extend the area of the Temple's holiness so as to 
include every part of the square of 500 cubits which 
surrounded it. This area included the site of the gate 
standing where the Golden Gate now stands, as is 
shown in the frontispiece to The Second Temple in 
Jerusalem, in which volume is a chapter devoted to 
the consideration of the Temple terrace or bulwark 
dealing with this whole area. 

Possible misconceptions may still arise from the 
fact that Ezekiel describes himself as having been 
brought back {i.e. to the east gate of the Temple, or 

1 For the references to ' prospect ' Gate, see Ezek. xlii. 15 ; xliii. 4 ; 
xliv. 1 ; and to the gate that 'looked,' Ezek. xliii. I ; xliv. I. 


Prospect Gate) by the way of ' the outer gate of the 
sanctuary' {i.e. the gate which looked toward the east), 
which gate {i.e. the Prospect Gate) on his arrival he 
found shut. Misunderstanding of the first verse of 
Ezekiel's forty-fourth chapter is the more likely from 
the fact of the Golden Gate having now been closed 
for centuries. The textual reference, however, as to 
the shut gate is not to it or its predecessor, and the 
command that the gate should not be opened did not 
apply to it, but to the Temple Gate through which the 
Lord, the God of Israel, had entered when He returned 
to His forsaken sanctuary. This was the reason for 
its not being put to any other use. The Hebrew text 
is here succinct to the point of obscurity, but such is its 
topographical sense. 

Following the indications given by Josephus, we 
have now had the evidence of Kings, Chronicles, and 
Ezekiel as to the fact of there having been or to be a 
large gate, materially unconnected with the Temple, 
overlooking the Kidron Valley and in the north and 
south line of the eastern wall of the Haram area. Let 
us now turn to Middoth, from whose crabbed and 
cryptic sentences we may possibly glean some par- 
ticulars both as to its former appearance and its later 
uses during the standing of the Herodian Temple. 

Ezekiel's writings give us no assurance that this gate 
was rebuilt in his time . He died before the Restoration, 
but centuries after it had taken place a rabbinical 
statement in Middoth (i. 3) in a catalogue of the five 
outermost gates of the mountain of the House says, 
' Upon the Eastern Gate, Sushan the palace was por- 
trayed, and by it the High Priest who burned the 
heifer, and the heifer and all his assistants, went out 


to the Mount of Olives.' Both here and in ii. 4 the 
reference is to the occasional sacrifice of a red heifer 
' without the camp ' for a specific purpose, described 
in the nineteenth chapter of the Book of Numbers. 1 
This is the final instruction of the whole sacrificial 
system of Moses, and is the only sacrifice referred to 
in the last chapter of the Book of Hebrews (xiii. 11). 
It thus had a profound significance, a significance not. 
unseen by the priests of Judaism or by the writers of 
the New Testament. 

The portrayed representation of the city Shushan, 
either in gratitude or by order of the Persian King at 
the time of the restoration from captivity, upon this 
gate was possibly that of a panel in one of its interior 
arcades, which would preserve it from decay. The gate 
itself may have stood from the time of its erection in 
the days of Ezra and Nehemiah to the final fall of the 
city, as no convulsion of war occurred at the time of 
the removal of the second Temple. Its mention by the 
Rabbis after the destruction of the last Temple is in 
favour of this contingency. 

In that noble work, the Survey of Western Palestine, 
the fabric of the Golden Gate is said to be of Roman 
origin, but the gate itself to stand upon foundations of 
unknown antiquity. This being so, it is inevitable that 
the size of the more modern structure should approxi- 
mately correspond to that of the ancient, the sub- 
structure being the same for both — smaller it may be, 
but not larger. 

Josephus gives the width of the gate in his time as 

1 The statement of Middoth that a priest standing on Olivet was able 
to see into the Temple at the time of sprinkling the sacrificial blood on the 
top of the mount involves his being at the time directly opposite to the 
Temple itself. It was at this point, or in its neighbourhood, that the 
ascension of Jesus took place. 


being 40 cubits, or 48 feet, its height being a negligible 
quantity, and its length not being given (War v. 5 § 3). 
The present building has an interior breadth of 35 feet, 
with walls of 11 feet in thickness on each side. It is 
divided by two columns into a double arcade. 1 These 
measures can be no test of those of Josephus, as the 
whole floor of the foundation is possibly not covered 
by the existing structure. In one particular alone is it 
of use, that is, in telling us that the ancient, like the 
modern, gate consisted of two arcades, for so only can 
the 40 cubits of Josephus have been disposed of. 

A road to any gate and from it is indispensable, or 
rather inevitable. No one ever built a gate — not an 
open triumphal arch — who did not do so in order to 
direct and ease the traffic to and through it. The Golden 
Gate now stands a shrunken and lonely monument of 
departed traffic and of a city's greatness. It was not 
always so. ' Opposite to it ' — the words are those of 
Josephus — ' was the Gate of the Sanctuary ' (War 
v - 5 § 3)- As the whole breadth of the Kidron Valley 
lay immediately below the Shushan Gate, to its east, 
and was then, as it is now, impassable except to foot 
passengers, ' the Sanctuary Gate ' could have stood 
only to the west, that is, on the other side of the present 
Haram area. No such gate has been as yet discovered, 
and no proper attempts to seek its traces have been 
made . On a late visit to the site I looked in vain for any 
indications of a gate having stood there. This negative 
statement is not so damaging as might at first appear. 
I had no authority to make any other than the most 
cursory examination, and the one man who could have 

1 Catherwood, in Bartlett's Walks about Jerusalem, p. 159. 


helped in settling the question, Dr. Schlick, was then 
dead. I found that the wall at that particular point 
on the inner side had been levelled nearly to the ground, 
and on its outer side it was covered with a mass of 
native shanties which forbade inquiry. Any gate 
standing where I have supposed the Sanctuary Gate 
to have stood may have had either a lower or a higher 
level than the Golden Gate, as they were at least a 
thousand feet apart. All traces of the gate, even its 
sill, may thus have been removed. But the likelihood 
is that a thorough excavation and exploration of the 
site would add another to the four gates — named 
Robinson, Barclay, Wilson, and Warren — already 
found on that side. 

On the matter of this supposititious gate Middoth is 
silent, but not so the Scripture. It is mentioned in both 
Testaments ; Nehemiah twice mentioning it as the 
Sheep Gate (iii. i ; xii. 39) ; once as the point at 
which the northern section of repairers of the wall began 
their work, and again as a point over which the dedi- 
cators of the wall passed on their way to the Gate of the 
Guard, behind the Temple, where they descended to the 
ground. It was, thus, on a site near to, and north-west 
of, the Enclosure of the Temple, a neighbourhood in 
which we may place the structure the Apostle John had 
in mind when he wrote, ' Now there is in Jerusalem by 
the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew 
Bethesda ' (John v. 2). 

In order to place ourselves en rapport with the 
religious views and customs of those days, and conse- 
quently with its architecture, we have to charge our 
minds with the then universal custom of observing the 
most scrupulous care in the selection of animals 


destined as sacrificial victims. Every reader of classical 
mythology knows how animals thus dedicated were 
garlanded with flowers, covered with tapestry cloths, 
had their horns gilded, and, after being sealed by the 
priests as being free from defect, were taken to the 
, altar with music and song. In the Temple at Jerusalem 
these things gave place to the minutest physical exami- 
nation, in order to discover any possible defect, or even 
any sign of pollution in the body of every proposed 
victim. Thus fowls, brought to the altar, if found to 
have any feathers soiled from natural causes, were not 
at once offered, but placed in a cavity opening on the 
west in the inclined slope which led to the altar (Mid- 
doth iii. 3). In Jewish Temples similar care to this was 
exercised in the preparation and examination, before 
sealing, of animals for slaughter. Thus all sheep had 
their fleeces washed immediately before presentation 
to the examining priest, this being found to be the only 
way in which to secure their acceptance . In the second 
Temple there was, according to Ezekiel's plan, a 
chamber outside of the Slaughtering Gate, known as 
' the chamber for the priests, the keepers of the charge 
of the altar ' (Ezek. xl. 46) . Similar arrangements were 
made in the third Temple, built under Pharisaic con- 
trol, in order to secure perfection of service in the 
matter of sacrificial details. Almost endless details as 
to this may be read by the curious in the Mishnic 
tractate Tamid, of the continual service in the Temple, 
all of which refer to the conventions in force at the time 
of which we write. 

There is, therefore, while no direct testimony, a mass 
of indirect evidence, which connects the Sheep Gate 
and its pool, in the upper bed of the Tyropoean Valley, 


with the Sanctuary Gate of Josephus, through which 
gate all animals intended for slaughter, newly washed, 
went on their way to the altar. They must have had 
some way of approach from the outer world, and no 
other than this is feasible, or has the least tittle of 
evidence or tradition in its behalf. 

Let us now ask ourselves if there remains any trace 
in literature of a roadway which should connect two 
gates, placed where we have ventured to locate these 
two hitherto unrecognized gates in the ground north of 
the Temple. If it be realized that any such roadway 
would divide the Antonia area from the Temple area — 
in itself a necessary thing — it will be seen that great 
care would be taken by Herod not to weaken his hold 
on the Temple by building, or permitting, any such 
wall as would form a barrier in case of his attack on the 
Temple from the north. A wall here, if of any strength, 
would inevitably appear in the narrative of The Jewish 
Way. No such hindrance to the success of the Romans 
is mentioned by Josephus. What does appear is that 
there was a low wall, of no importance in a soldier's eye, 
which ran to the south of the suggested roadway. In 
this slight defence stood a single gate named Tadi. 
That Tadi means ' obscurity,' that it was on the north 
side of the Mountain of the House, and that it did not 
serve for any superior purpose are the main facts about 
it vouchsafed by the Rabbins in Middoth (i. 3). There 
is, however, one other remark as to Tadi which is of 
consequence. It is that of i. § 9, in which it is stated 
that in case of sudden defilement happening to a priest 
when on duty in the Temple, he had to go out by the 
(subterranean) gallery which went under the birah 
(lights were burning on both sides), till he came to the 


Bath House. Whereupon a correction or addition was 
made by another Rabbi who said : ' By the gallery he 
passed under the terrace (=chel) and went out and had 
to go through Tadi.' We are not concerned with the 
excommunicated priest. What concerns us is to know 
that there was from the Beth Moked (which was a kind 
of priestly anteroom to the Temple) an underground 
gallery that led to the priests' Bath House and to the 
Gate Tadi. This subway was discovered in 1867. It 
is called Strato's Tower by Josephus, and may be seen 
indicated on the Plan. 

It is evident that, going out at the Tadi Gate, the 
offending priest was free of the Temple and res cere- 
monies, being unfitted for further immediate service. 
He was now in a street which, in Rabbinical conceits, 
to one coming from the Temple was as obscurity is to 

It is also evident that as the four other gates men- 
tioned with Tadi were boundary gates, defining the 
limits of the Mountain of the House, so was Tadi. It 
stood on the north of the Temple and on the outer verge 
of the consecrated ground. This would place it to the 
south of Antonia and its court, and permit of its open- 
ing on to any roadway or street that might have 
separated the barrack-yard of Antonia from the Temple 
grounds. Here, then, we place it, as opening into the 
inferred roadway that ran west from the site of the 
Golden Gate. 

Josephus does not mention the Tadi Gate, except by 
implication — arrived at thus : A gate presupposes a 
wall, through which it gives access. If the boundary of 
the northern limit of the sacred mount was defined by 
a low wall which was not in the nature of a military 


defence, we should not expect it to be mentioned in an 
account of the siege and defence of Jerusalem. Its 
removal may have been involved in the order ' to 
make a road for the more easy marching up of the 
legions ' between Antonia and the Temple (War vi. 
4 § 3), in which case no more would be heard of it. But 
we catch a glimpse of such a wall in some earlier litiga- 
tion that took place during the life of the Emperor 
Nero. The tower at the south-east corner of the 
Antonia ' was 70 cubits ' or 84 feet high, so that from it 
the whole Temple could externally be viewed (War 
v. 5 § 8) . On this tower Hercd Agrippa determined to 
build himself a very large banqueting room, so that he 
might there recline and see what was being done in the 
Temple grounds. As this increased elevation enabled 
him to overlook the offering of sacrifices immediately 
within the northern enclosure wall, the Jewish authori- 
ties of the Sanhedrin took umbrage, and retaliated by 
erecting a high wall before the hall in the part of the 
Temple toward the west. The position of this wall is 
further described as not only intercepting the view 
from the dining-room of the palace t but also the view 
from the western portico of the outer Temple, where, 
at the festivals, the Romans kept guard, near the 
Temple. Festus, who was then Governor, ordered, the 
Jews to pull the newly raised wall down. They refused, 
and the matter was ultimately referred to Nero, who, 
to please his wife Poppaea, 1 gave permission to let the 

1 Eoppssa was the daughter of a wealthy Roman named Titus Ollius. 
She became the legal wife of Nero a.d. 62, and died a.d. 66. From the 
fact that her body was embalmed, and not cremated, as were the corpses 
of distinguished Romans, it may be inferred that she became a proselyte to 
the Jewish faith. She befriended Josephus on several occasions {Life of 
Josephus, § 3). 


wall stand, but retained and put to death the High 
Priest and another member of the deputation in order 
to prevent further deputations of the same kind. 
{Ant. xx. 8 § 11.) 

A glance at the Plan will show that in order to in- 
tercept the view from the two points named, viz. the 
Antonia tower to the north of the altar and the portico 
to its north-west, the retaliative wall must have stood 
somewhere to the west of the position given to the 
Tadi Gate. In all probability it was the building 
up of an existing wall of low height which lay to 
the south of the roadway, and in which Tadi was 
the sole exit. 

A gate was a necessity here, as all the animals for 
sacrifice had to be brought to the north side of the altar 
(Lev. i. 11) . Further, their presence thereabouts would 
account for the underground passages by which the 
priests reached the Beth Moked lest they should be 
defiled by contact with animals or their excrements. 

In one respect the Tadi Gate differed from its fellows. 
They all had lintels over their entrances, a fact which 
shows that they carried greater or lesser heights of 
masonry. These lintels were of stone, as may be argued 
from the analogy of Tadi as well as from the abundance 
of stone at Jerusalem. Tadi alone had two stones 
which inclined one upon the other, literally ' resting this 
on the back of that ' {Middoth ii. § 3) ; a formation seen 
over the chambers of the pyramids. From this fact 
two inferences may be drawn : one that the gate was 
wholly an exterior one, exposed to the weather ; the 
second that the wall on either of its sides was a low one, 
probably of not more than a few cubits in height, before 
its elevation on the west as above described. 


East of the Golden Gate are some indications of a 
roadway which once ran below the wall of the noble 
sanctuary for the whole of its length. Among these 
are a small gate, now built up, which once allowed of 
individual passengers finding their way through the 
wall from the Temple mount to the Olivet road without 
going round by the Golden gateway. Another is the 
fact that the so-called Solomon's Stables and the Horse 
Gate (which once stood beside their entrance) would 
have no other means of access than such a road as is 
here supposed. This Horse Gate is mentioned by 
Jeremiah and by Nehemiah, the former of whom gives 
its situation as at a corner towards the east (Jer. xxxi. 
40), and the latter of whom confirms this in his topo- 
graphical sketch of the city in the fifth century b.c. 
(Neh. hi. 28). 

The slope of descent down the Kidron Valley is a 
gradual one, now covered with Mahommedan graves, 
whichfact interdicts excavation. No spot in the environs 
of Jerusalem would so well repay examination as this, 
for here were thrown over the wall the stone debris of 
the ruined Temple, both in the times of Nebuchad- 
nezzar and of Vespasian. The time for such revelation 
as we may expect from such an undertaking has not yet 
come. Colonel Conder did, however, succeed in running 
an underground gallery from the Kidron Valley towards 
the Temple hill, below the level of the tombs, and found 
the foundation stones of ' a massive wall ' of curved 
shape just outside the Golden Gate. This fragment of 
a retaining wall is shown in the accompanying plan of 
the Haram area, and is evidence that the wall ran 
southward from the gateway, at the north side of 
which it ended. 


The solitary and forsaken monument of the Golden 
Gate, of which we present a photograph, once teemed 
with life, and busy throngs of worshippers made its 
arches ring with the voice of joy and gladness. A main 
street of Jerusalem, so late as the twelfth century, ran 
across the city from a point near the Jaffa Gate to the 
Valley of the Kidron, and terminated at this point. 1 
Its continuation down the Kidron Valley has already 
been suggested. 

1 The late Sir Charles Wilson wrote : ' From the memoir La Citez de 
Therusalem, written about A.D. 1187, it is possible to restore the principal 
features of the city as they existed at the time of its capture by Saladin. 
One of these is a main street, which ran from a point near the Tower of 
David to the Golden Gate.' — Wilson's Jerusalem, p. xxi. 


THE Temple removed by order of Herod had 
around it a surface slightly raised above the 
outlying portions of the hill. This surface was 
clearly defined by consecutive lengths of masonry, 
the area within which Ezekiel termed the ' Sanc- 
tuary of the House ' (Ezek. xlviii. 21). A repre- 
sentation of this paved superficies forms the frontis- 
piece to the volume on The Second, Temple in 
Jerusalem. That drawing is not a complete view of 
the subject, as the citation of the words, ' it had a 
wall round about ' (Ezek. xlii. 20), is followed by the 
statement (on p. 331), 'as there is no mention of a 
gate, it is probable that the wall was not a continuous 
one, but was built in separate sections, and that its 
form of construction followed that of the Soreg of the 
Temple, by which every alternate space was open and 
allowed of passage.' No such wall or Soreg appears in 
the drawing. Such an outside application of the Temple 
partition did not then seem ripe for settlement, and it 
has been left to this volume to complete the idea of its 

The Chel removed by Herod was a square of 500 
large cubits, or 750 feet, and the paving stones with 
which it was floored were doubtless stored on removal, 
for similar future use. What that use was is now to 



engage our attention as one of the most interesting 
of the many subjects which will come before us, in its 
bearing upon the attitude of those who were Hebrews 
by birth toward those who were only Hebrews by con- 
viction. Such converts from the idolatries of the 
heathen world, we might reasonably think, would 
receive a warm welcome and a tender and solicitous 
after-care from those whose ranks they had joined and 
whose noblest trophies they were. Alas ! that it should 
not have been so. But we have clear the evidence that 
it was not so, in concrete form, in that part of the last 
Temple now under consideration. 

First, let us take the evidence of Josephus as to this 
part of the holy structure, whose apposite remarks, in 
each of his books, are coloured by the atmosphere in 
which, as a priest, he had been brought up, and whose 
unconscious narrowness of view but too faithfully 
enshrines the prejudices of his age. Himself not a 
political bigot, he was compelled, in his writings, to use 
the language of his day and to reflect its spirit in his 

After describing, what is evident to every visitor to 
the Haram area, that the hill, once ' a rocky ascent,' 
had been walled on three of its sides, and the space of 
35 acres so enclosed levelled, by filling up its hollows 
until it was ' a smooth level,' 1 he tells us : — 

' This hill was walled all round, and in compass four 
furlongs, each angle containing a furlong in 

1 Immense quantities of loose rock and soil must have been required 
for the operation, all of which material was taken from the artificially 
levelled space outside of the Damascus Gate. The cutting down of the 
hill to the north of the city's wall was a military necessity if that wall was 
not to be commanded by a higher position. It is in the cutting thus 
formed that the entrance to Gordon's tomb lies. 


length. But within the wall, and on the very 
top of all, there rose another wall also of stone 
... in the midst of which was the Temple 
itself {Ant. xv. n § 3). 

Before writing these words the Jewish historian 
had, with pardonable pride, referred to the massive 
walls rising from the valleys below, which are now the 
things best worth seeing in Jerusalem, and to the large 
porticoes which leaned on them from the inside. It 
should not, therefore, be difficult to see in the above 
citation of his words an endeavour further to describe 
a smaller square of a furlong, enclosed within a larger 
area, within which smaller enclosure stood a third 
enclosure holding the Temple. That his meaning can 
be none other than this is shown by the fact of his 
telling us that the larger of the two last-mentioned 
included spaces was a furlong on each of its four sides, 
compared with his other statement (War v. 5 § 2) that 
the entire measure of the outside porticoes, which on 
their inside fringed the walls of the hill, measured six 
furlongs including the tower of Antonia. Both these 
sets of figures, the four and the six, are accepted in 
these pages as genuine, and in the former of them we 
see the size of the Chel which succeeded that of the 
second Temple . The ' six ' will be hereafter dealt with 
and be the subject of a subsequent chapter on the 
double porticoes. For the present our attention is 
confined to the centre one of three enclosure walls, 
which, lying one within another, resembled nothing so 
much as one of those Chinese puzzles in which one body 
lies within another, separate, conditioned by its en- 
vironment, arid yet perfect in itself. 


Let us now turn to the Rabbis for further light on 
the Chel and its surrounding wall, which, though not 
the wall of the 'Ir Enclosure, 1 was not, either, the wall 
which embraced the hill of Moriah and kept its thou- 
sands of tons of made ground from tumbling into the 
valleys below. They say: ' The Mountain of the House 
was [an intermediate space of] 500 cubits by 500 cubits, 
surrounded on all sides by a wall ' (Middoth ii. 1 and 
note). (Items 148, 149.) 

Between these figures and the furlong of Josephus 
there is but a technical difference of 6 or 7 feet, and, 
as he wrote for readers of Greek, no hesitation need be 
felt in accepting the round number of 600 feet as the 
true one, it being further given in Hebrew building 

There is little doubt that this paved and walled space 
of two hundred yards every way — a part of which 
pavement still remains in the pavement on the Haram 
area — as the Tr was one of a hundred yards every way 
— was a sequence of the earlier building plan and was 
traditionally intended as a half-way house of sanctity 
for those who approached the Temple proper. To it 
all those of Abrahamic descent were welcome, as well as 
all those who had adopted the Jewish faith as their 
own. Whether others were admitted we know not. 
This was its design, but this was not the purpose of its 
creator and builder, Herod. 

As Governor of Judaea for 34 years (Ant. xvii. 8 § 1), 
Herod had kept his judicial courts in the proximity of 
the Temple, as custom and tradition required. He had 
no seat in the Sanhedrin, the members of which he 

1 Josephus elsewhere speaks of ' the Temple as being itself surrounded 
with a very strong wall,' which is the one here referred to (Ant. xiv. 4 § i). 


reduced to the level of assessors, but placed his curule 
chair where that of the judgment seat of the later 
Kings of Judah had stood, that is, on the south side 
of the Temple Enclosure. 1 

This was within the Chel, and to it all litigants and 
witnesses came, as well as all those idlers who, as in 
every Eastern city, like to hear cases of law decided. 

Twelve years before his death the Temple was so far 
completed that Herod could hold his assize and appeal 
courts, sitting between two of its gates, as David had 
sat when awaiting news of battle (2 Sam. xviii. 24). 
His official position here completed the secularization 
of the Chel. There were no warning pillars to keep off 
the uncircumcised and the profane, and no officials to 
say who should and who should not pass through its 
many entrances. Hence we find that the old distinction 
between the Chel and its outer border of soil had 
gradually and completely disappeared. This is so in 
the pages both of Josephus and of Middoth. The latter, 
having told us that the ' Mountain of the House ' — a 
venerable title borrowed from Isaiah and Micah — was 
a square of 500 cubits, immediately goes on to define 
the spaces on each side of the 'Ir Enclosure, as they 
extended themselves, not to the partition wall of the 
Chel, but beyond them to those outermost walls which 
bounded the hill on three of its sides, south of the 
Antonia barrack-yard. 2 With these termini in mind, 

1 See the case of Zedekiah, accessible to the meanest of his subjects, 
'the King then sitting in the gate of Benjamin' (Jer. xxxviii. 7; comp. 
Jer. xxvi. 10). The situation of this gate was in the south wall. See 
Solomon's Temple, 2nd Edition, pp. 337-8. 

2 In the accompanying Plan of the Temple quadrilateral, the distances 
are as follows, the measurements being taken between the outer face of the 
'Ir Enclosure and the inner face of the outer walls : To the south 580 feet ; 
to the east an average of 470 feet ; to the north an average of 240 feet ; to 
the west 160 feet. 


we accept the explanation given by Rabbi Obadiah in 
Appendix II to the effect that — 

' The distance from the wall of the Mountain of the 
House to the wall of the court on the south side 
exceeded the distance which was between them 
on the eastern side ; and the distance which was 
between them on the eastern side exceeded the 
distance which was between them on the 
northern side ; and the northern space was 
greater than the western.' 

The Plan of the Haram area and Herod's Temple 
herewith has been drawn in harmony with these dis- 
tances, and it only remains to explain the appended 
saying, ' the space which had the largest measure- 
ment was most used,' to mean that at the annual Feast 
of Tabernacles the law was publicly read there (Deut . 
xxxi. 10-13 '• Neh. viii. 1, 3, 16), and that on this, the 
southern side of the Temple Enclosure, 1 judicial 
decisions were given, and that here in the open air on 
every court day large crowds of the rough and unruly 
elements of the city gathered to applaud or condemn 
the administration of justice as it seemed good to them 
to do. 

When no sermon or judicial sentence was awaited, 
but political questions were discussed, as when the 
national fate hung in the balance, the peace party in 
the State ' assembled the people before the brazen gate, 
which was the gate of the Inner Temple that faced 
east,' i.e. Nicanor, and there in vain implored them not 
to provoke a war with Rome by refusing to pay taxes, 

1 Nehemiah says the reading was done ' before the Water Gate.' In 
chap. xvii. it has been shown that this was the name of Gate No. 3 on the 
south side of the Temple afterwards built. 


and to offer the customary sacrifices on behalf of the 
Emperor and the Roman State {War ii. 17 § 3). The 
choice of this spot for a political issue was in harmony 
with the precedents of Hezekiah and Ezra, who both 
held popular assemblies here (2 Chron. xxix. 4 ; Ezra 
x. 9). 

It is not until we come to a more formal definition 
of the term ' Mountain of the House ' that we see how 
completely the old sanctity clinging to a part of its 
area had become a thing of the past at the time oithe 
city's fall. Middoth i. 3 gives us the five gates of the 
' Mountain.' These are of great interest, as all of them, 
Tadi excepted, are known and still exist. With them 
before us no uncertainty remains as to the area in- 
tended. Those first named are the two Huldah gates 
on the south. These subways under the Ophel wall 
are now known as the Double and the Triple Gates, 1 
and may be seen described on plan in Murray's 
Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 876. They gave 
entrance and exit to inhabitants living in what had 
been the city of David, built on the lower slopes of the 
Temple hill, and stand at equal distances from the 
corners of the wall and from each other. 

' Kipunus ' is next mentioned as the gate on the west 
which gave admission to the Temple for those living in 
the city— then, as now, the most thickly populated 
portion of Jerusalem. That the gate and steps leading 
down to Robinson's bridge are meant is, I think, 
undeniable ; the only thing requiring explanation 
being the peculiar form of the name given to this once 

1 The lines of the Double Gate, if produced towards the north, fall 
across the Sakhrah rock. The steps leading down to it began between the 
Chel enclosure and the pillars of the stoa basilica on a level of 2420 feet. 
It has a total width of 40 feet. 

' KIPUNUS ' 233 

noble structure. Built by Herod the Great as a part 
of his magnificent setting of the city, his unpopularity 
was so great that his name was not allowed to deface 
any Jewish writing for many years after his death. 1 
Hence it does not appear in Middoth, which expressly 
recounts the measurements of the Temple built by him. 
' Kipunus ' is an awkward reading of ' Coponius,' a 
Roman equestrian knight, who, on the banishment to 
Vienne of Archelaus, son of Herod, and for ten years 
Ethnarch of Judaea, was, with Cyrenius as Governor- 
General of Syria, appointed Procurator of Judaea. 
This appointment involved the incorporation of Judeea 
with the province of Syria, a measure highly acceptable 
to the Jewish people. In gratitude for such an answer 
to their prayers to the Caesar, they named the bridge 
after Coponius, their first local ruler after having 
shaken off the family of Herod. It is not impossible 
that till then it had been called the Royal Gate, as 
being a practical continuation of the Royal Portico on 
the Temple hill, to which it led. 

We have already had under our notice the gate 
named Tadi, and have seen its position in the north line 
of the Temple grounds. It is here named as being on 
the north, with the addition that ' it was not used at 
all,' a statement almost immediately followed by a 
description of how it was used in case of breach of 
purity by any priest on duty in the Temple. He left 
the Temple — the usual resort of priests and Levites 
being the Beth Moked — and departed by the winding 
way — a subterranean gallery is meant — having first 
bathed in the underground Bath House. ' He then 

1 See a Jewish recapitulation of his crimes, spoken to Augustus, Ant. 
xvii. II § 2. For Josephus' summary of his character, see Ant. xvi. 5 §4, 


went under the Chel and passed out by Tadi ' (Middotk 
i. g x and ii. 2). 

Here we have the Tadi Gate given as the gate of exit 
for the priests on leaving the Temple for their homes. 
It was also their gate of entry from outside the Temple 
grounds, and led immediately into the secret passage 
which connected Antonia with the Temple. -By it, 
also, all the animals intended for sacrifice were driven 
or led into the area of the Temple. So that it was one 
of the busiest and dirtiest spots in the precincts, and 
the statement that it was not used at all can only refer 
to its non-use by ordinary Temple worshippers. For 
them there were other entrances and exits, to one of 
which we are next introduced as the eastern gate, 
Shushah, upon which the Persian palace was portrayed. 
Into this gate of necessity were entrances apart from 
Tadi, as is suggested in the preceding chapter. 

We have now had before us two distinct areas : one 
of a square furlong, or more correctly of 600 feet-; 
the other of an indeterminate size and shape, these 
being indicated by the five principal gates which 
opened upon it. The topography of the situation is 
exactly described in words written so long ago as 1630 
by Professor Constantine L'Empereiir : ' The Mountain 
of the House was indeed much greater than 500 cubits 
would contain, but to the outer part of it the sanctity 
did not extend.' At the time of which we write the 
topographical distinction between the two areas still 
remained, but the ecclesiastical one was lost. Writing 
after he had witnessed the fall of the Temple, Josephus 

1 Beside its mention here the outside Chel is mentioned in Middolh 
ii. s S 7 onI y as tne rampart oh to which doors led from the gates Nitsutz 
and Beth Moked. 


speaks of the whole area as one lying ' outside of the 
second Temple where was a partition of stone,' i.e. the 
outer Soreg (War v. 5 § 2), within which was ' the first 
enclosure, in the midst of which was the second, to be 
ascended to by a few steps,' i.e. those of the inner Soreg 
(Ant. xv. 11 § 5). The Rabbis, on the other hand, 
writing, not for Gentiles, but as describing a memorial 
of their past greatness, retained a memory of the Chel 
as a distinct topographical entity. 
Dr. John Lightfoot appositely remarks : — 

' That the Chel was a space of ground and not a wall 
we have the testimony not only of divers Jews, 
but we have the mention of people coming into 
it, and standing and sitting in it ; as Rabbi 
Nathan speaks of a great divinity school in the 
Chel, and Rabbi Zacchai of having a Sanhedrin 
there. Also those who brought their Passover 
lambs to the Temple went and stood in the Chel.' 1 

We have already cited Rabbi Eleazar as saying that 
the excommunicated priest went forth (from the 
Temple) by the gallery which went under the Chel, and 
passed out by Tadi (Middoth i. 9). Hence we infer 
that the terrace did not reach so far as Tadi, but only 
so far as the exit from the gallery that passed under it. 

These galleries were discovered in 1867, and are in- 
dicated on the Plan. Vault No. 1 is 24 feet wide (20 
cubits) and 130 feet long, and has not been fully 
explored. Vault No. 3 has two side chambers, which 
are the bath-rooms mentioned above. One end is 
bricked up, and this tank, together with No. 1, requires 
further examination. One result, however, is certain, 

1 Collected Works of Dr. John Lightfoot, 2 vols., edit. 1684, p. 1089. 


which is that the Chel or terrace of the Temple of Herod 
was above these tanks or vaults. To know this is a 
positive gain of the first importance 1 in the topography 
of the Temple. 

It may be needless further to labour the point that 
the spaces on Moriah outside of the Tr Enclosure, while 
occasionally and unitedly spoken of as ' the Mountain 
of the House,' consisted of two main divisions of land— 
the inner and partially enclosed one of which was called 
the Chel, and the irregular border of open space sur- 
rounding it being technically known as ' the Mountain 
of the House ' ; the cause of the obliteration of the 
distinction in the popular mind being the Roman occu- 
pation of Jerusalem and the placing of her officers and 
soldiers within and above the porticoes which sur- 
rounded the Tr. 

This being so, the names and distinction between the 
two spaces were carried within the Temple walls, and 
applied to those portions of its area that lay outside 
the greater Soreg, above the steps. This suggestion 
brings us once more to the crux of the whole matter of 
spiritual pride and racial intolerance as they existed in 
the bosom of the Jewish Church of Judaea in its later days . 

That part of the Temple which, throughout its 
whole width from north to south, lay to the east of the 
Soreg was just one-fourth of its whole area. That area 
being one of 250 cubits, a simple arithmetical sum will 
tell us that it was 62! cubits in width. So exact was the 
delimitation of spaces within the Tr that the boundary 
wall between them was built upon the division line. 

1 The fact that other tanks lay within the area of the Herodian Temple 
is no proof that they were not cut before the size of the Enclosure was 
sufficiently enlarged to include them. Being once made they were irre- 


Being a single cubit in breadth, the line of separation 
ran down its centre, giving one half to either side. 
This will account for the half cubit, leaving sixty-two 
others to be accounted for. Ten of these were applied 
to a provision of steps with which to mount to the 
Temple proper — Josephus' ' Second Enclosure ' (items 
111-13) — and fifty-two others were given to a double 
cloister, standing on fine pillars of the Corinthian order. 
The former of these two breadths was reckoned to be 
a part of the Chel (items 109-13), and the latter to 
belong to the Mountain of the House (items 114-20). 
This fine structure, of 300 feet in length, named after 
Solomon, is that to which Josephus refers as ' the 
Portico that faced the Temple,' the front of which was 
adorned with the spoils of war, including some trophies 
placed there by Herod the Great — an undesigned 
proof that this part of the Temple was completed in his 
lifetime {Ant. xv. 11 § 3). It was this double Portico 
of two arcades that is variously known as the Court of 
the Gentiles and as Solomon's Portico. In adopting 
the former as the name in common use, Edersheim 
says Relandus rightly objects that the only term for it 
used in Jewish writings is ' the Mountain of the House.' 
There was much to be said for this term as a highly 
suitable designation for that part of the Temple open 
to the Gentiles. 
Two prophets had written, in the same characters : — 

' It shall come to pass in the latter days, 
That the mountain of the Lord's house ' 

1 It certainly does appear unlikely at first sight that the phrase, when 
used in a passage like this, should have a limited and technical sig- 
nificance ; but we think we have shown sufficiently that it must be so 
understood, as its principal motive was to embody the missionary purport 
of the Hebrew Church, and this was the only part of the Temple open to 
proselytes and other Gentiles. 


Shall be established in the top of the mountains! 

And shall be exalted above the hills ; 
And all nations shall flow unto it. 

And many peoples shall go and say, 
Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, 

To the house of the God of Jacob ; 
And He will teach us of His ways, 

And we will walk in His paths : 
For out of Zion shall go forth the law, 

And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.' 

(Isa. ii. 2-4 ; Micah iv. 1-3.) 

Such was the origin of the name, and no nobler one 
was possible. But there the parallel between the 
prophecy and the structure ended. Words, after all, 
are but counters. And the beautiful and appropriate 
title prophetically given to the Gentiles' Court came, 
in time, to connote all that to the Jew was despicable 
and to be avoided. Every Hebrew man and woman 
who entered the Temple had to cross it on the way to 
the greater Soreg — priests and Levites, who had other 
entrances, excepted. Gentiles entering it came by 
another door and left by it. Josephus gives us a side- 
light upon it when he tells us ' Into the first Temple 
everybody was allowed to go, even foreigners ' {Ag. 
Apion ii § 8). And elsewhere : ' The Women's Court 
was allotted for worship to the women of our own 
country and of other countries, provided they were of 
our nation ' {War v. 5 § 2). So that not even proselytes 
to the Jewish faith, no matter of what sex, age, or 
dignity, or those who had come from far countries, 
were allowed to proceed beyond the Common Court 
open to all mankind. Even one sect of Jews, the 
Essenes, were excluded from it, as being separatists 
from the Jewish faith {Ant. xviii. 1 '§ 5). This arrogant 
contempt for non-Hebrews, even when proselytes, 


turned to the help of the world's salvation, as has been 
shown in an earlier chapter of this book. The spot 
upon which had been heaped the indignities of the 
chosen race became, in the Temple, the birthplace of 
the Christian Church. 

It happened that the spot where Jewish intolerance 
of their fellow-men was most marked became the 
theatre of one of the most tragic episodes in the most 
tragic of all sieges known to history. When the Temple 
was still smouldering in its ashes, with flames breaking 
out now and then, false prophets persuaded the 
despairing people that God would still come to the 
rescue of His house and people. All the surrounding 
porticoes which fringed the hill were either burnt or 
burning. Of the gates of the Enclosure all had fallen, 
except one in the south wall and the Nicanor Gate. 
The portico to which this gate led stood amid blackened 
ruins. Amid this scene of almost universal desolation 
might be heard false words of hope, recounting the 
miracles wrought on Pharaoh's and Sennacherib's 
armies, and promising the like deliverance now. In 
answer to a public proclamation made to this effect 
in the city, crowds gathered on the roof of the still 
standing Solomon's Portico to await the moment 
when the burning Temple should arise from its ashes 
more beautiful than ever. Of those who thronged 
there, praying, many were women and many children. 
Some old men were among them, who hoped that a long 
life of punctilious Pharisaism would avail them in this 
awful moment. The long flat roof, supported by its 
three rows of marble pillars, supported ' about six 
thousand* souls. Seeing their helpless state 'the 
soldiers, carried away by their rage, set the portico on 


fire,' in retaliation for a similar act of war by which 
great numbers of Roman soldiers had met their death. 
The stratagem of the Jews by which this was accom- 
plished is described in War vi. 3 § 2, and is some set-off 
against the barbarity here noted. They themselves 
stood around, and on the points of their lances re- 
ceived those who threw themselves from above. The 
insatiable flame fed on its victims, of whom not so 
much as one escaped. 



ANYONE who has wandered around the site of the 
l\ Dome of the Rock (Qubbet es-Sakhrah) in Jeru- 
salem will have noticed to the south of that edifice 
a building now known as the Mosque El-Aksa but 
originally built as a Christian church by the Emperor 
Justinian. This mosque stands on a portion of the 
ground where once stood the Royal Portico or Stoa 
basilica of King Herod. 

Every artist in words shows his literary genius by 
throwing into relief those portions of his description 
which seem to him to be of more importance than the 
rest. True to this aim, Josephus has endeavoured to 
put before us some idea of the magnificence of this 
cloister by giving to its description a larger space than 
to any other item of his topographical narrative (Ant. 
xv. ii § 5). He tell us that the fourth front of the 
Temple, namely, that to the south, faced a Royal 
Portico, beneath which were gates — the two Huldah 
gates are meant — and that the building beneath which 
they ran ' deserved better to be mentioned than any 
other under the sun . ' The site itself was that one which 
on its eastern side had the greatest depth of walling 
built up from the valley below, being the south-east 
r 241 


corner of the present Haram area, where the living 
rock is about 140 feet below the present level of the 
floor of Solomon's Stables, though the wall itself is 200 
feet high, so great is the accumulation of rubbish at 
its base and of vaulting above. The south wall of the 
Haram area is 922 feet in length, east to west, and 
the Royal Portico leaned on it for the space of 600 
feet. It did not, consequently, extend for more than 
two-thirds the length of the outer wall, and was built 
on a stretch of walling equidistant from its corners. 
Josephus is therefore guilty of an artistic appeal to 
our imagination in telling us that if anyone looked 
down from the roof of the portico into the Valley of 
the Kidron ' his sight could not reach down to such an 
abyss.' This is true, but it is because the portico did 
not admit of anyone standing on its roof and looking 
down immediately into the valley. Nor is he more 
practically correct in saying that the portico ' reached 
from the east valley to the west valley.' It may have 
been ' impossible that it should reach any further than 
it did,' but this was because it was impossible there to 
find any rocky bed for its foundation. 

Standing where we have placed the Royal Portico, 
its foundations at the east end would be 50 feet below 
its floor level, and at the west end 95 feet ; as not till 
these depths are excavated is the rock met with. Thus 
placed there were about fifty vacant yards at its either 
end for ornamental buildings and clear spaces. 

On the western side of the portico the Tyropcean 
Valley ran the whole of its course to join other valleys 
near the Pool of Siloam. Before the time of Herod 
there had been a bridge over this valley at a point near 


the south-west angle of the Haram area. Josephus 
gives the occasion of its destruction. He tells us that 
when Pompey besieged Jerusalem, in 63 B.C., and had 
succeeded in entering the city, the warlike party 
retired into the Temple, and cut off the communication 
between the Temple and the city by breaking down 
the bridge {War i. 7 § 1 and Ant. xiv. § 2). So distinct 
Were the defences of the two that Pompey, though 
master of the city, was three months in overcoming the 
resistance of the Temple, which he then entered from 
the north. 

The remains of this earlier bridge have been seen, 
its voussoirs lying tumbled and broken below the level 
at which the bridge named after Dr. Robinson had its 
height. The replacing of it by a new bridge on a higher 
level was effected by Herod as a part of his plan of 
Temple restoration. There is the most intimate con- 
nection between the figures of the one and of the other 
— both being parts of one great building enterprise. 
Before, however, we come to a comparison of the 
measurements of the portico and of the bridge, evidence 
may be adduced to show that a part of the enclosing 
wall of Moriah was broken down at this particular spot 
in order to insert one end of the arch upon which the 
new bridge was to rest. Its spring-stones, still in situ, 
are 6 feet in thickness. In the Survey of Western 
Palestine, vol. i., p. 175, we read, ' The arch stones of 
Robinson's bridge are of soft malaki, and the adjoining 
stones in the wall are of hard missse.' The size of the 
stones around and above the inserted monoliths to carry 
the bridge also differ considerably from other parts of 
the wall— as may be seen by the least practised eye. 
The wall here was evidently pulled down for this 


purpose and smaller stones used in filling up the vacant 
cies. The original wall masonry north and south of the 
bridge is of quite a different texture to that lying 
immediately about the inserted spring-stones of the 

With this apparatus of topographical material at 
hand, we may proceed to take up those measurements 
which go to show that the Royal Portico and the Royal 
Bridge were parts of one design and were complemen- 
tary to one another. Not until this is done can we be 
said to be in full possession of the unity and grandeur 
of Herod's work in this part of his dominions. We 
take, first, the measurements of the bridge. 

These, according to Dr. Edward Robinson, who first 
took them, are as follows : — 


Spring of the arch, length . . . . 51 

Distance from south-west corner, including 
8 ft. thickness of wall . . . -39 

Total . . 90 
(Robinson's Biblical Researches, vol. i., p. 288.) 

The officers of the survey party who subsequently, 
and with greater exactness, measured the distances, 
give them as follows : — 

Distance from inner face of south wall 
Actual width of arch . 
Same distance north of arch 

Total . . in 6 
(Survey of Western Palestine, vol. i., p. 239.) 









In Appendix I, items 138 ff ., the spaces provisionally 
given 1 to the width of the Royal Portico in its three 
arcades are no feet 8| inches — showing a difference 
of but 9f inches between the inferred results of the 
Royal Portico and the ascertained results of the bridge 
which led to it. 

What makes this coincidence of greater interest and 
value is the fact that if the details of the architectural 
scheme be worked out, it will be found that while the 
bridge itself lay in a line with the middle walk of the 
Portico, the space available for foot passengers on the 
bridge — there being no question of vehicular traffic — 
was the same as in the centre walk of the triple portico. 
The 50-feet width of the bridge arches — it had two, 
each of 40 feet in diameter — would be lessened by the 
width of some necessary parapets to the footway. 
The middle walk of the Portico has been given as 
43 feet 1 \ inches. This we may reasonably take as the 
clear width of the bridge footway, the parapet walls 
on either side being possibly of the thickness of several 
Greek feet, making up the fifty. 

Not only is this so, but if the remaining spaces to the 
south be taken a further coincidence appears. The 
distance of the arch from the south wall has been given 
as 30 feet 9 inches — the wall itself not being included. 

1 For convenience of reference these are repeated here, viz. : — 

Greek ft. 

English values 

of 11 J ins. 

ft. ins. 

Radius of engaged pillar 

■ II 

I 5-25 

South walk of portico — width 

• 3° 

28 9 OO 

Diameter of pillar 

• 3 

2 IO'50 

Middle walk of portico — width 

• 45 

43 1 '5° 

Diameter of pillar 

• 3 

2 ICV50 

North walk of portico — width 

• 3° 

28 9"oo 

Diameter of pillar 

■ 3 
• »5i 

2 io'5o 

Totals, Greek ft. . 

no 8 '25 


If we take the south arcade or walk of the Portico, we 
find that it extended northward to a distance of 33 feet ; 
or less if the measure be taken as from centre to centre 
of pillar ; the provisional figure being 28 feet 9 inches 
in the clear. There were no sidewalks on the bridge to 
correspond with the smaller arcades of the Portico. 

While, however, there were these unities between the 
two constructions it is to be borne in mind that they 
were not on the same level. The roadway of the bridge 
lay many feet below the floor of the Portico. A con- 
nection between the two was established by having a 
series of steps 1 in a tunnel leading down from the 
Temple area to the bridge below. Traces of these steps 
would probably be discovered if excavations were here 

In addition to the visible projecting shoulder of the 
Royal Bridge, first described by Dr. Robinson, there 
is another memorial of Herod's work in the building of 
his Portico. This consists of two massive pillars which 
stand in the vestibule of the Double Gate. These 
pillars upheld the mass of earth which formed the floor 
and supports of the Great Portico above, and it is 
natural to see in them a position immediately below 
that of some of the pillars of that structure. The late 
James Fergusson recognized these two still-standing 
pillars as being an architectural feature of Herod's 
Temple which has remained in situ (Smith's Dictionary 
of the Bible, vol. hi., p. 1461). These monolithic pillars 
are described by Colonel Conder as being each 6 feet 

1 Having mentioned the three upper gates which were between the 
Temple area and the city on the west, Josephus says : ' The east gate led 
to the rest of the city, where the road descended down into the valley by 
a great number of steps, and thence up again to the ascent ' (Ant. 
xv. 11 §5). 


in diameter and together supporting four flat domes. 
(Murray's Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Art. ' Archi- 
tecture.') Sir Charles Warren confirms this, adding 
that the roof consists of four flat domes, highly orna- 
mented with Herodian tracery. (Idem, Art. ' Temple.') 
One of the fifty plates of the Survey of Western Pales- 
tine shows that the centre of each of these monoliths is 
about 39 feet from the outside iace of the south wall. 
They thus stood immediately below two of the pillars 
supporting the Portico roof, each pillar having a 
diameter of three Greek feet ; the distances above 

being:- ft. ins. 

Thickness of south wall, about . .80 

Radius of engaged pillar . . . 1 5 J 

Width of South Walk of Portico . . 28 9 

Centre of pillar of Middle Walk . . 1 5| 

Total . . 39 y\ 

In the late Sir Charles Wilson's opinion, ' the vesti- 
bule of the Double Gate was undoubtedly a portion of 
Herod's Temple, and the great monolithic column in 
its centre corresponded in position with one of the 
pillars of the Royal Cloister, which ran along the side 
of the south wall.' (Jerusalem, 1889, p. 68.) 

These preliminary studies of the topography and 
remains of this portion of the Temple will have prepared 
us to look at the architectural account of the Royal 
Cloister, which Josephus gives with more of a seeing 
eye than we otherwise could have done. He evidently 
carried with him a memory of its impressive effect 
such as no other part of the Temple gave him. Nor 
when we consider the character of its builder can we 


fail to see some reason for this. Herod, the Edomite 
parvenu, was, above and beyond all things, anxious to 
display and insist upon his royal character. We see 
this in the very fact of his rebuilding the Temple. We 
see it in his tyrannical act of placing the Roman Eagle 
over the gate of the Temple at its completion ; we 
see it most plainly in his naming of this particular 
portico as the Stoa basilica, and in his undoubted 
determination to make it that portion of the whole 
structure which should most powerfully affect the 
minds of his subjects with a sense of his dignity and 

The size and position of the Royal Portico being so 
far determined, we turn to the evidence for its eleva- 
tion. 1 This is less satisfactory than the other, as 
Josephus wrote after its destruction, and indulges in 
some rhetorical flourishes in describing it. His positive 
statements about it are, however, harmonious and 
credible. He tells us that its order of architecture was 
Corinthian, the capitals of its 162 marble pillars being 
sculptured in that style. The pediments of this 
portico alone were adorned with deep carving in wood, 
the other porticoes not being decorated ' with any 
work of the painter or sculptor,' but having a fretwork 
of cedar-wood only. In another particular than this 
did it differ from them. This was in having a clerestory, 
or raised roof, in the centre. This speciality arose from 
the fact of its being the only triple portico in the 
Temple grounds. The central nave was thus both 
broader and higher than any others. The array of 
pillars supporting the whole fabric had the shaft height 

1 All the following particulars are taken from War v. 5 § 2, and Ant. 
xv. 11 § 5. 


of 27 Greek, or nearly 26 English, feet 1 (item 139). 
Four rows, each of 40 such pillars, upheld the long 
arcades (item 143). Of these the innermost row was 
set in the city wall, and but half of each pillar was 
visible. The base of each of these pillars was orna- 
mented with ' a double spiral,' by which is probably 
meant the ram's horn pattern. For the two extra 
pillars facing the west and the city see items 140-1. 

The total height of the portico to the top of the 
parapet or ridge of its clerestory was ' above fifty feet ' 
(item 142). This added to the 200 feet of which the 
wall consisted at the south-east corner made that 
abyss of which Josephus says one would be giddy in 
attempting to look down into it. 

It is probable that above the height of the four rows 
of Corinthian pillars the rooi was supported entirely 
by wooden pillars and beams. This is the more likely 
from the fact of there having been ' deep carving in 
wood ' at the frieze and pediments. 

The destruction of this noble work is told in a single 
line. ' The Romans burnt everything, such as the 
remains of the porticoes and the gates, two excepted, 
one on the east side {i.e. the Solomon Portico) and the 
other on the south (i.e the Stoa Basilica) ; both of 
which, however, they destroyed afterwards.' (War vi. 
5 § 2.) 

We have seen that there was a vacant space at either 
end of the Royal Portico of about 150 feet in length. 
On the west the steps and tunnel down to the Royal 
Bridge were here placed and may still be recovered. 

1 This is nearly the same measure as he had given to the pillars of the 
doable porticoes, which he tells us were 25 cubits in height, or 30 feet 
( War v. 5 § 2). This was probably inclusive of their bases and capitals. 


On the east there stood a detached building which 
Josephus calls ' The Pastophoria.' (War iv. 9 § 12.) 
He describes this elevation as that from the top of 
which one of the priests stood and, with a trumpet, 
blew signals announcing the beginning of each Sabbath 
and also its close. We are thus reminded that the cry 
of the muezzin in Moslemism is but a reminiscence of 
Temple times. 

But the building of the Pastophoria served many 
other purposes than this. It was here that a priest 
stood and watched for the dawn of every day. It was 
only when he saw ' the whole sky as far as Hebron ' lit 
up with the coming sunrise that he reported the coming 
of another day. While he awaited this moment from 
the top of his watch-tower, the priests and Levites 
within the Temple had made preparations for the 
morning sacrifice. As soon as the signal was given the 
Temple gates were simultaneously thrown open, and, 
almost at the same moment the lamb was slaughtered, 
it being imperative that its death should take place 
before the rising sun was visible. 

In a word, all the ordinances of religion in the Temple 
were regulated by what was seen from the top of this 
edifice, and by the trumpet signals which were blown 
from it ; the new moon of each monthly festival 
especially being so proclaimed. 

The name given to the erection was one alien to the 
Jewish faith and language. The ' Pastophori ' were an 
inferior order of Egyptian priests, whose duty it was 
to carry the sacred vessels and idols at religious pro- 
cessions in that country. (Dr. Georg Eber's ' Mgypten,' 
p. 341.) The term seems to have been transferred to 
the third Temple because of the carrying to and fro 


of the silver trumpets with which the blasts were 
blown from the roof of the Pastophorion, though 
Josephus uses it, in Ant. xi. 5 § 4, to describe the 
Chamber of Jehohanan to which Ezra retired from 
before the second Temple, and in which he spent the 
night fasting on account of the sins of the people 
(Ezra x. 6). This may have stood on the same site as 
the Pastophoria. 

The building itself, in the Herodian Temple, played 
its part in the civil strife that preceded the great siege. 
Over its top John erected one of the four wooden 
towers from which he threw darts and stones both on 
those who held the Temple Enclosure and on those who 
assailed him from the Zion city below. (War iv. 9 § 12.) 

There can thus be no doubt either of its existence or 
of its position, though any restoration of it must be 
purely conjectural. The suggestion has been made 
that its roof was that ' pinnacle ' of the Temple from 
which our Saviour was urged to cast Himself down, a 
suggestion which has in its favour the great depth into 
which anyone standing there looked down — a depth 
unequalled in any other part of the Temple site. 



IT is not until we have some realization of the fact 
that the three-quarters of a mile of the present 
walling about the Haram area was lined with a 
series of double porticoes that we can have any 
true conception of the extent or the magnificence of 
Herod's work about the Temple. That some such 
architectural effort was the case is certain, and it only 
remains to present such details of these cloisters as 
shall carry evidence of their existence and shall assist 
the imagination in enabling it mentally to recall them. 
The technical details have already been worked out for 
these pages and may be seen shown on a Plan and 
summarized in an Appendix. It is therefore necessary 
only to say that five of the six furlongs 1 of outer 
porticoes resembled, in size and appearance, that named 
after Solomon within the Enclosure walls of the Temple, 
the architectural details of which have already been 
given (comp. items 114-20). The sixth furlong was 
that Stoa basilica to which the chapter previous to 
this has been devoted. In item 146 an attempt has 
been made to adjust these five furlongs to the require- 

1 As Josephus wrote for Greek readers he uses a term, 'furlongs,' 
familiar to them, to describe a length of 500 cubits — the difference between 
them being only 6| feet. 



ments of the site, but such adjustment has no value 
beyond showing howthe porticoes may have been placed 
so as to correspond with the site and its requirements. 
An idea of the immense number of pillars required 
for the support of these cloisters may be gleaned by 
recalling the fact that in the Stoa basilica each of its 
four rows of pillars consisted of forty. 1 Double 
porticoes, such as those which completed the circum- 
vallation, had two such rows of rather smaller pillars, 
and a third partly built into the wall (items 144-5) . 
Taking the former, we find that 80 separate pillars 
would be required for two lines in each furlong, and, 
as there were five such cloisters, no fewer than 400 
marble pillars had to be cut and dressed, as well as to 
have their Corinthian capitals separately sculptured. 
To these 400 we have to add the 160 in the Royal 
Portico, 40 in the Gentile Court of the Temple, and an 
unknown number in the Court of the Women, about 
which the testimony of Josephus is that, while the 
colonnades there, being single, were smaller than those 
of the Gentile Court, they were in no other way 
inferior to them. (War v. 5 § 2 ; item 147.) If we put 
the number of floriated capitals required for these 
pillars and their inset associates at a thousand we shall 
probably be within the truth as to the number actually 
wrought, or to be wrought. It is this aspect of the 
Temple building which gives the impression that the 
Temple and its cloisters were not finished for use till 
many years after Herod's death. A sentence of Jose- 
phus, referring to the year a.d. 65, ' And now the 
Temple was quite finished ' (Ant. xx. 9 § 7), if not 

1 In harmony with this inter-columniation, twenty have been given to 
each row of pillars in Solomon's Portico, its length being one half that of 
the Stoa basilica. See Plan. 


referring to its repair and partial reconstruction, may 
be understood in the sense that temporary supports of 
wood or stone had till then been used, in the erection 
of some of these cloisters, which supports were gradually 
replaced by marble pillars with their bases and capitals, 
and that it was not till the reign of Agrippa that this 
work was completed. In this way only can we har- 
monize the Antiquities with itself, in an earlier passage 
of which we are told that Herod ' laboured at the 
porticoes and the outward enclosures, and these he 
built in eight years ' (xv. n § 5), i.e. by 10 B.C. On his 
death, at the time of the Christian era, the revenues 
of the State were no longer available for the prosecution 
of the work of completing the Temple. It therefore 
lingered for over sixty years, and was sustained by the 
revenues of the Temple alone. 

If there were anything like a thousand acanthus- 
leaved capitals used in the Herodian Temple, it is 
unlikely that all these were so defaced and destroyed 
at the burning of the Temple by Titus that some traces 
of them should not survive to our own times. The 
officers of the Survey of Western Palestine found por- 
tions of engaged pillars in the Temple debris, deep down 
in the excavations of the south-east angle of the Haram 
area. Others, they say, are still visible in situ at the 
Triple Gate (Survey of Western Palestine, vol. i., 
p. 165). It is noticeable that portions of 'engaged' 
pillars only were found. These would be useless for any 
other purpose than that of being built into a wall, 1 
whereas whole capitals might subserve any other 

1 In the walls of the rectangle of the Temple area— 1500 feet by 900 
feet — columns of the finest marble, porphyry and serpentine built in 
among the blocks of limestone are by no means rare (Dr. Samuel 
Manning's Those Holy Fields, p. 108). 


purpose in which pillars were to be used. Such a 
purpose we have in the double row of marble pillars 
with Corinthian capitals which now surround the 
sacred rock and form the support of its famous dome. 
The Qubbet es-Sakhrah is a purely Saracenic building, 
and, as an inscription within it tells us, was erected in 
the year 668. It is one of the world's masterpieces of 
that style of architecture, but no one has suggested 
that the marble pillars which now form part of its 
external face were cut by Mahornmedan hands or 
designed by an Arabic mind. That they are adapta- 
tions from an earlier building is shown by the fact that 
some of the drums forming the pillars are put in upside 
down, while in the cave beneath the rock is a piece of 
statuary which, owing to its transgressing the Mahorn- 
medan law of representation, has been purposely built 
in with the face below so as to conceal its character. 
The diameter of the shafts of these pillars about the 
great dome is 22 British inches, and an engaged pillar 
drawn on one of the fifty plates of the Survey has a 
radius of n inches. These measures are almost exactly 
those of one and two Greek feet. The pillars may have 
bulged in the middle to complete the Greek foot of 
n| inches. 

In my own opinion the marbles forming these 
twenty-six jnllars were dug up from the debris of 
Herod's Temple, fragments of which had been thrown 
over the wall into the Valley of the Kidron, and that 
but for the Mahornmedan graves there we should be 
able to disinter parts of many of their fellows which now 
lie at some depth below the surface, all those lying near 
the surface having been extracted from the soil and 
utilized as a part of the present Dome of the Rock. 


Owing to the kindness of the committee of the 
Palestine Exploration Fund, I am able to reproduce an 
engraving of some of these pillar capitals r by which 
their true Grecian character will be seen, and the fact 

Reproduced by kind permission of the P.E.F. 

of their variety of carving will go in the direction of 
showing that they were the work of Greek artists who 
wrought separately and leisurely and did not adopt 
the principle of having them all of one model or copied 
from a single original. 
All this, however, is speculation, but it is speculation 


such as may cause the eyes of those who read it and in 
the future visit Jerusalem to gleam with a new interest 
as they reflect that the pillars they see standing around 
the sacred rock may once have formed a part of that 
edifice of which Jesus said, ' Make not My Father's 
house a house of merchandise.' Not until the times of 
the Gentiles shall have been fulfilled and the soil of 
Jerusalem shall give up her secrets can it be known 
whether or not these pillars ever upheld a screen over 
the head of the Son of Man, and echoed to His voice 
as He taught in the Temple. 

In the wall between Robinson's Bridge at the south- 
west angle and the Gate of the Sanctuary, standing 
opposite to the Golden Gate, were three smaller gates 
leading into the group of sister cities on the west which, 
together, formed the citizen quarter of Jerusalem. 1 
These entrances are named after their discoverers, and 
are known as Barclay's Gate (south), Wilson's Gate 
(middle), and Warren's Gate (north). 

Like the Huldah gates in the south wall, they were 
descended to by series of steps from the platform of 
the Temple. This construction admitted of the porti- 
coes being built over them, their floors being thus left 
free for pedestrians, and also allowed of their being 
completely closed to an enemy attacking the Temple 
from the west, by the passages being filled with earth. 
It is probable that they were so filled at the time of the 
great siege, and have so remained until within the last 
few years. AH are now open. Josephus speaks of 
these three gates, and associates with them the en- 

1 Named the Upper City, the Lower City, and the Upper Market 
Place. Their relative position is given on the author's Plan of Jerusalem 
attached to the volume on The Second Temple in Jerusalem. 


trance to the Royal Bridge to their south in these 
words — his order of recapitulation being from north 
to south : — 

' In the western part of the enclosure of the Temple 
there were four gates ; the first led to the King's 
palace and went to a passage over the inter- 
mediate valley ; two more led to the suburbs 
of the city ; and the last led to the rest of the 
city, where the road descended down into the 
' valley by a great number of steps ' (Ant. xv. n 
These words do not admit of any other togographical 
application than that the most northerly of these gates, 
i.e. Warren's Gate, was that one which led to King 
Herod's palace in the western suburbs of the city, 
to the site of which an underground passage still exists 
and is well known as running through the heart of the 
town. 1 It has this further evidence in its favour, that 
it lies in a line with and immediately below that 
' King's Entry ' (Gate No. 10) which was from of old 
the wicket where sovereigns entered when about to 
worship in the Temple ; and the statement, above, 
that there was ' a passage ' over the Tyropoean Valley, 
may mean a covered way by which Herod was accus- 
tomed to protect himself from the danger of assassina- 
tion when on the way to and from his oratory in the 

South of Warren's Gate is the Bab es-Silsileh going 
over Wilson's Arch, and leading to a great causeway 

1 Josephus' description of this may be read in War vii. chap. 2, in 
which he speaks of Herod's undergtoxxni ascent to the Temple from his 
palace near the site of the Jaffa gate. The late Sir Charles Wilson sees 
this subterranean way in the underground passage running beneath David 
Street, Jerusalem. 


over the valley which carried the termination of Jose- 
phus' ' old ' or first wall of the city (War v. 5 § 2). 
Above the wall was a conduit bringing water from 
Solomon's Pool, near Hebron, to the Temple site. 
Beside the end of the old wall may have been wicket- 
gates leading into the cities north and south. 

The most southerly of the three gates was Barclay's, 
which stands some seventy yards north of Robinson's 
Bridge. One of these gates is described by Josephus 
as leading directly to the Xystus, or Gymnasium, on the 
west of the Tyropoean Valley, for over this gate John, 
the leader of the Zealots, erected a wooden tower, 
which tower, at one stage of the siege, marked the 
progress of the flames lit by the Romans (War iv. 
9 § 12, and vi. 3 § 2). 

It may be possible to settle which of these gates is 
meant — and so decide the situation of the Xystus — by 
reference to a scene which took place between the fall 
of the Temple and that of the city. Titus, in a con- 
ference with the rebel Jews — the Tyropoean Valley 
being between them — stood on the west side of the 
outer Temple, and therefore at one of the city gates, 
for the parley. ' There were,' says Josephus, ' gates 
on that side, above the Xystus, and a bridge ' (War vi. 
6 § 2). If this bridge be the one known as Robinson's, 
no doubt can exist as to Titus having stood at Barclay's 
Gate. Opposite to this was the Xystus, a place which 
played a prominent part in the great siege, near to 
which stood the Jews in their parley with Titus. 

When one of the psalmists wrote of Jerusalem that 
it stood 

' On the sides of the north,' 


he touched one of the outstanding facts of the city's 
topography. It is that while the city is surrounded 
and seamed by ravines or valleys, it has no such 
protection on the north. Here the Morian hill 
slopes gently down till it touches first Antonia, 
then the Temple, and dies away in the gradual fall 

Such a position caused great difficulties in the 
erection of its defences. To the west of Antonia great 
labour was expended in cutting down the bank of the 
hillside till it should be on a level with the sill of the 
Damascus Gate, then known as the Fish Gate. 1 East 
of this a similar work was attempted, so as to make a 
continuous northern line of defence for both city and 
Temple as far as the western slope of the Kidron. The 
soil was, however, found less grateful here, a bed of 
rock everywhere presenting itself to the pick and spade 
of the defenders. At or near the junction of the two 
lines of defence was a singular natural phenomenon. 
This was a jut of rock, not large in area, but of many 
cubits in height . Early in the history of the city as the 
Jewish capital the value of this isolated elevation was 
seen, and its history, as Baris and the citadel, goes back 
far beyond the days of Nehemiah in the fifth century. 2 
We are concerned now, however, solely with its appear- 
ance in the time of the New Testament, when it still 
retained its ancient prerogative as the dominating 
military position of the whole city. The Roman troops 
occupied Antonia, lately rebuilt and remodelled by 

1 Both these gates stood at the head of the Tyropoean depression, and 
allowed of the flow of water over or under their sills. The streets of 
Jerusalem, like those at Pompeii, acted as surface-water drains as well as 
carried the traffic. 

2 It is thought to be ' the tower of Hananel ' of Neh. iii. I. 


Herod the Great, and greatly enlarged by him in its 
area — so that there were exercise grounds for the 
soldiers, and baths, with other military conveniences. 

In each of his books Josephus gives a formal account 
of this citadel and its uses, though that in the War is 
naturally the fuller of the two. 1 From these we learn 
that all that part of the Temple which lay north of the 
deep scarp west of the Golden Gate was considered 
to belong to Antonia. The street which divided the 
plateau of Moriah into two parts was the boundary of 
the two jurisdictions. North of the street the soldiers 
had an unchallenged supremacy, while south of it the 
priests were, within certain limits, independent. While, 
however, these two authorities claimed special rights 
over their own portion of ground, each of them also 
claimed to have some authority, rights, or vested 
interests in that portion of the hill occupied by the 
other. Thus the hierarchy claimed all the site, south 
of and apart from the citadel itself, as a part of the 
Temple. Josephus is careful to express this in the 
opening words of each of his accounts. In one case 
they are : ' Now in an angle on the north side [of the 
Temple is to be understood here] was built a citadel.' 
In the other they are : ' The Tower of Antonia 2 was 
situated at the corner of the two porticoes of the first 
Temple [by this term Josephus here means all that 
portion of the Temple hill that lay outside the Tr 
Enclosure and the Chel] that faced west and north 
[i.e. the walls of which faced].' 

It was because of this ancient but now shadowy 

1 Ant. xv., xi. § S ; War v. 5 § 8. 

a Turkish barracks now cover the rock on which the central Tower of 
Antonia was built, the projecting rock itself having been removed. 


claim to the whole hill that Herod so far yielded to the 
priestly and national party as to enclose the whole area 
within the outer porticoes of the Temple. The Jewish 
historian tells us that the six furlongs of porticoes 
' included [an angle of] the Tower of Antonia ' (War 
v. 5 § 2), and elsewhere that where the enceinte of the 
citadel ' joined the two porticoes of the Temple it had 
a passage to each of them by which the Roman guard 
descended ' [War v. 5 § 8). 

It was from one of the two nights of these ' stairs ' 
that Paul addressed the crowd that followed him after 
his violent arrest in the Temple (Acts xxi. 40). 

The history of this incident, which for its fullness 
and fairness may be likened to a photograph in words, 
fittingly introduces the general rights which Rome 
claimed and exercised, by means of her overwhelming 
military force, over and in the Temple. A contingent 
of five hundred soldiers always occupied the barracks 
at Antonia, but at each of the three great festivals of 
the year this body was considerably strengthened from 
Csesarea. Whether or not it rose to a legion of ten 
thousand men — Josephus says ' legion ' — is not a 
matter of importance, but the light any such accession 
of military strength throws upon the character of the 
Jewish people is important. The nation was seething 
with discontent. The Sicarii, afterwards under the 
leadership of Simon, who was executed at the Tarpeian 
Rock as the commander of the rebels against Rome, 
are mentioned as assassins in Acts xxi. 38 (R.V.), and 
were already an active and bloodthirsty party in 
Jerusalem. So threatening was the position of affairs, 
and so inflammable the materials of which the nation 
was composed, that on the Passover feast which 


followed Herod Agrippa's death a cohort of infantry, 
fully armed, was stationed above the portico of the 
Temple, which, from the context, is shown to be that 
of the Gentiles within the Enclosure. On a riot be- 
ginning these were reinforced by others, who poured 
into the porticoes in great numbers, spreading them- 
selves over the whole Temple grounds, and expelled 
the worshippers, many of whom were killed (War ii. 
12 § 1). Referring elsewhere to this event Josephus 
says that the placing of troops in the Temple was 
regularly done, as seditions generally broke out at 
these feasts, and that Cumanus was then administrator 
of Judaea, and Claudius Emperor (Ant. xx. 6 § 3 and 
War i. 4 § 3). 

At an earlier date we find that the Romans kept 
guard at the festivals, and particular mention is made 
of a body regularly stationed in the western portico of 
the outer Temple. This was to the north of the Temple 
itself (Ant. xx. 9 § 11). 

References to these instances are sufficient to show 
that the claim of the Romans to keep order in and 
about the Temple was not a fictitious one, and that, 
in asserting their right to do this, they did not regard 
the scruples of the Jews or stand upon ceremony with 
them. Strained relations such as these, when once 
seen to have existed, may assist us in understanding 
why it was that the chief captain, together with a 
whole cohort of six hundred troops, were detailed to 
take Jesus on the night before the Passover (John 
xviii. 3, 12). It was, doubtless, believed that the 
Nazarene was a dangerous agitator, and that by secur- 
ing him before the festival a violent outbreak would be 
averted. On these festivals the civil governor of the 


State occupied rooms in the Antonia barrack, 1 but it 
does not seem that Pilate was asked to sanction the 
arrest (Matt, xxvii. 18). It was deemed to be an act 
of mere police administration, without any special 
significance, and may, by the regimental commanding 
officer, have been honestly intended as a means of 
securing a peaceable assemblage on the morrow. 

We have seen that at the two flights of steps that 
led into the fortress of Antonia the western and the 
northern porticoes had their termination, and can thus 
understand that sentence of Josephus in which he tells 
us that the six furlongs of cloisters included Antonia. 
A short section of the western portico at its northern 
end was the first to fall in the war. Seeing Titus in 
possession of Antonia, the Jews, fearing that he would 
use the portico as a further point of attack upon them — 
for ' it joined the Tower of Antonia ' — with their own 
hands burnt and broke off a good section of it. This 
action of theirs is severely reprobated by Josephus, 
who here departs from his usual calmness of record 
and blames his countrymen for making their Temple 
' square,' and thus ensuring its destruction ; basing 
his condemnation upon some imaginary prophecy in 
their sacred books. We may, however, see in his words 
a topographical fact of some value, which is that the 
quadrilateral of the Temple was, at its north-west 
corner, broken into by the intrusion of a portion of the 
outworks of the great fortress, and is so represented on 
the Plan (War vi. 2 § 9 and v. 4 ; comp. v. 5 § 8). This 

1 Uniformly spoken of as the Prsetorium in the New Testament. Comp. 
Matt, xxvii. 27, Mark xv. 16, John xviii. 28. The Prsetorium of Acts 
xxiii. 35 is the military quarters at Caesarea. 

By permission oj The Controller of ff.M. Stationery Office 




prevented its being rectangular, which is what Josephus 
means as square. 

The height above the Kidron at the angle at which 
the east portico, that ran parallel to the Kidron Valley, 
joined the north portico is referred to as being ' fright- 
ful.' Here the depth of the wall is nearly equal to that 
at the south-east corner, owing to the withdrawal of 
the hill westward. 1 The whole of this portico was 
burnt in a single day when the Romans became masters 
of the Mountain of the House — the Temple Enclosure 
still being untaken (War vi. 3 § 2). 

This east portico, in its suggested length of 1200 
feet, fringed, on its inner side, a wall the exterior length 
of which is 1530 feet. It did not extend so far south as 
the Pastophoria, and it was divided by the Shushan 
Gate which stood at the junction of 460 feet from the 
north and 1020 feet from the south angles. There 
were, of course, in the Shushan Gate of Herod's time 
side entrances, so as to allow of free access from one 
portico to another, as well as portals of exit at both 
its ends. This may account for the Golden Gate having 
the unusual length of 70 feet, the double porticoes all 
having a width of between 62 and 63 feet. This near 
coincidence in size is full of interest, especially if the 
thickness of the wall be added to the width of the 
portico. The total in each case is the same, a fact 
which explains the extraordinary present length of 
the Golden Gate (item 137). It is the only part of 
Herod's Temple which is still standing as a complete 

1 The el Wad Valley runs into the Kidron at a distance of 145 feet south 
of the N.E. angle of the Haram area, where the depth of the rock is 125 
feet below the surface level. 


THE quadrilateral of the Temple was surrounded 
on three of its sides by deep valleys and lofty 
walls. On the fourth side the Tower of Antonia 
frowned, but it lay about a thousand feet from the 
valley of the Kidron. It was between these points 
that the later attacks on Jerusalem were invariably 
made . Here Pompey — already in possession of the city 
— chose to place his battering-ram and ballistce. So 
distinct were the defences of the two places — the 
Temple and the city — that when Titus had overcome 
the resistance of the Temple hill, a fresh plan of attack 
and new assaults had to be made to break down the 
defences of the city. 

It was this sense of isolation from its attendant city 
that made the complete protection of the Temple of 
such supreme importance. 

West of Antonia is a deep scarp artificially made of 
the descending hill, which effectually prevented darts, 
stones, and arrows, when thrown from its top, reaching 
the defenders within the city's north wall. East of 
Antonia such a provision was not considered sufficient. 
There, accordingly, it was determined to cut a deep 
trench in the rock, a fosse which, when filled with water, 
should stretch from the foot of the Antonia tower to 
the descending slope of the Kidron Valley. Such a 



fosse was the best defence the military science of'the 
day permitted of, and was ordinarily effective against 
all comers until the discovery of gunpowder. 

This defence must have been as old as the outer 
walls of the Temple. We cannot imagine that the 
enormous labour and expense of building walls, whose 
foundations were in the valleys, would have been 
undertaken had not some provision been made for the 
strengthening of that part of the defence which was 
weakest, and which lay above the Temple. 

There is no historical evidence bearing upon the 
matter apart from the fact that when Nebuzaradan 
took the city 586 B.C., he did so by making a breach 
opposite to the Virgin's Spring in the Kidron Valley. 
The City Gate overlooking the water supply was then 
known as the Water or Fountain Gate toward the east 
(Neh. iii. 26 ; xii. 37). It is, however, referred to by 
Jeremiah as the Middle Gate, being the centre one of 
three gates on that side of the city (Jer. xxxix. 3). 
Certain it is that the Babylonian army, after eighteen 
months of siege, would not have taken the city and 
Temple from the east if the north had not been power- 
fully protected and had not successfully resisted all 
efforts to enter them. This state of strength involves 
the northern defence of the moat, which must have 
been in existence then. Lewin expresses this opinion 
in these words : — • 

' That the great moat at the north of the Haram was 
excavated by Solomon we should conclude from 
the circumstance that no other King of Israel 
could have had the opportunity or means of 
executing so costly a work. There was certainly 
a great fosse in that quarter long before the time 


of Herod, for Strabo (xvi. 2) mentions it in the 
siege of Jerusalem by Pompey' (Lewin's Siege 
of Jerusalem, 1863, p. 261). 

So formidable an obstruction to his entering the 
Temple did Pompey find this moat that he was three 
months in overcoming it, as all the trees in the neigh- 
bourhood had to be cut down for the purpose, 1 and 
even then the trench was filled up with difficulty owing 
to its immense depth . Not till this had been done could 
the engines of war and battering-rams, brought from 
Tyre for the purpose, play on the wall within the moat. 

Pompey's capture of Jerusalem took place in the 
year 63 b.c. Of it Josephus has given two accounts. 
One in his Jewish War (I. vii. 1-5), and another in his 
Antiquities of the Jews (xiv. 4, 1-4). Each account 
states that on coming to the city Pompey took a survey 
of its defences. In the War it is said that he found it 
strong on every side excepting the north, which was 
not well fortified, for there was a broad and deep ditch 
that ran round that part of the city, and included 
within it the Temple, which was itself surrounded with 
a very strong stone wall. The corresponding passage 
in the Antiquities is : ' Pompey pitched his camp out- 
side, at the north end of the Temple where it was most 
open to attack, though even on that side great towers 
rose up and a trench had been dug.' The expressions 
in these two sentences are so similar that it is hard to 
avoid the conclusion that by the ditch or trench in each 
of them is meant a huge fosse connecting the lofty 
erection of the Tower of Antonia with the deep de- 
pression of the Kidron Valley. 

1 In Titus' siege of the city these were collected from a circle of eleven 
miles around the city, or ninety furlongs ( War vi. I \ i). 


Josephus' history of the final siege and fall of Jeru- 
salem is of inestimable value, though marred by certain 
peculiarities. One of these is that in speaking of the 
three walls of Jerusalem he sometimes does so from 
the point of view of a besieged Jew, and sometimes from 
that of the besieging Romans — in whose camp he lived. 
In the former case the innermost wall is spoken of as 
the first or old wall, and the outermost as the third 
wall (War v. 4 § 2) . In other cases he speaks of the 
outer wall as the first, and the innermost as the third 
(War v. 6 § 2). 

At the opening of the siege two attacks were planned 
by Titus. One was on the west side of the city, near 
to the Hippicus tower. Here two mounds were raised, 
and the walls battered. This attack was, however, 
soon abandoned, and all the energies of the assailants 
concentrated on the north attack. Here a deep ditch 
divided the fourth hill, i.e. that of Bezetha on the 
north, from Antonia. It had been lately dug on pur- 
pose to prevent the foundations of the Tower of Antonia 
from joining the hill of Bezetha, and from being easy of 
access from an overhanging height (War v. 4 § 2). 

It is difficult to see how, with this explanation before 
us of the object of digging the ditch, any other con- 
clusion can be come to than that this was a new 
ground-work, designed to create an artificial valley 
between two hills, and not simply a recess around the 
fort Antonia itself. There was this also. 

This being so, Titus raised two great earthworks on 
which to place his engines — one opposite the middle of 
the pool called Struthius, 1 and another at about the 
distance of 20 cubits (24 feet) from the first. 

1 Strution=soapwort pool. 


It is probable that these two earthworks were 
erected south of the northern fosse, or pool, itself. 
Pompey had filled up a portion of the moat while 
bringing his rams from Tyre. Titus would be com- 
pelled to do the same levelling work. It was in doing 
this that he lost many men by missives from the Tower 
and from the North Portico. Their position within the 
southern moat also enabled the Jews to undermine 
and destroy the engines. There is — from the whole 
course of the siege narrative — no other conclusion to 
be drawn than that this pool Struthius was distinct 
from the moat — though they may have been circum- 
jacent to one another — and that the earthworks were 
so placed as to attack from them either the tower itself 
to the west, or the wall lying beyond the moat to the 
south. It was the wall of the latter that was first 
pierced — being declared to have been ' weak ' (War 
vi. i § 3). The next paragraph states that ' the Tower 
of Antonia was still standing,' and it required all the 
address of Titus to get his men to storm the breach 
in the portico wall — the reason being that it lay beyond 
the moat and under the tower. An attempt to do so 
was made by Sabinus and eleven others, but it failed, 
and all were either killed or wounded. 

The final fall of the Antonia tower is instructive. 
Some five-and-twenty men keeping guard at the earth- 
works determined to attempt a night surprise. They 
first stole through the breach already made in the wall 
carrying the north portico, and then entering Antonia 
from the rear, where the gates were open, cut the 
throats of the guards they met, and so occupied the 

The first order given by Titus on finding himself in 


possession of the great fortress was ' to rase to the 
ground the foundations of the Tower of Antonia, and 
to make an easy ascent for all his army ' (War vi. 2 
§1). In doing this Titus was doing as Pompey had 
done in similar circumstances, by filling up the moat, 
and in each case for the same reason — to afford a 
roadway by which the battering-rams might be dragged 
across the artificial ravine and reach the Temple 

The labour of filling the ditch occupied the Roman 
army seven days — the instructive statement of Jose- 
phus being that the doing of this work had overthrown 
the foundations of the Tower of Antonia and had 
made ready a broad way up to the Temple (War 
vi. 2 § 7). The Tower of Antonia now became the head- 
quarters station of Titus and his staff, from which he 
directed the assault upon the walls of the Sanctuary 
(Warvi. 4 § 4). 

In these circumstances it would seem to be out of the 
question that the attack on Antonia should be held to 
have been from the west. Had it been so the attack 
would have been on the Sheep Gate, of which we hear 
nothing. Nor would there, on this side, have been 
found any necessity for the mention of Bezetha, with 
its dividing valley, or fosse. 

The new fortress of Antonia was wholly the work of 
King Herod. It was such, however, only as to its later 
reconstruction. When he took over' the government 
of Judaea he found there an old fortress, adjacent to 
the north slope of the Temple, called Baris (War 
i. 5 § 4). This he repaired at a vast expense and called 
Antonia, in honour of Mark Antony (War i. 21 § 1). 

It is one of the difficulties of tracing back the history 


of this fortress that the name Akra is once given to 
this as in other cases to the Akra citadel on the more 
northerly of the two western hills of Jerusalem 
(Ant. xii. 9 § 3) . But as the history of the Antiochian 
fort is comprised within the years 170-140 B.C., when 
its Syrian garrison was forced by famine to capitulate 
to Simon Maccabeus, who demolished the fortress and 
lowered the height on which it stood (Ant. xiii. 5 § 11 ; 
xiii. 6 § 7), there is little danger of confounding the two 
— except in the pages of 1 and 2 Maccabees. Akra, 
however, still remained the name of the upper city 
which it had dominated, and is often met with in the 
pages of Josephus. 

It will be apparent that a deep moat running from 
the edge of the Kidron Valley on the east would 
demand, as its best possible protection on the west, 
some such tower as we have in the steep elevation of 
Antonia. The history of its site may be traced to pre- 
Captivity days, to which likewise must belong the moat 
which it commanded. A work so great would receive, 
as did the tower protecting it, additions and enlarge- 
ments from time to time. Of these there is no record, 
unless it be that the moat being considered to belong 
to the Tower is to be included in the history of its many 
repairs and enlargements. In this way it may have 
escaped that particular and separate mention which 
we should desire. 

Williams, long ago, saw the relation which must have 
existed between the two sections of the northern 
fortification, as he says : — 

' The great moat on the north of the Haram area 
known as Birket Israil does so entirely answer 
the description of the fosse on the north of the 


Temple as given by Strabo and Josephus that 
I cannot question its identity.' 

(Williams' Holy City, vol. ii., p. 353.) 

Let us collect the modern topographical details of 
such a ditch as we have supposed, so far as they are 
now available. The base of the rock at the foundation 
of the Turkish minaret, and also at the barrack near it, 
has been found to be 2460 feet above the sea, or 20 feet 
higher than the upper face of the pavement round the 
Sakhrah rock. This rocky level is scarped toward the 
east so as to form a ditch of which 350, feet in length 
has been examined. This ditch, Strabo tells us, was 
60 feet in depth and 250 in (superficial) breadth, i.e. 
measuring its three sides (History xvi., p. 763. Oxford 

The Palestine survey party found that it was scarped 
to a depth of 30 feet on the south side and of 60 feet on 
the north side. The floor of the moat is thus sloped 
to the north so as to give the greatest depth of water 
to an enemy advancing from that side. 

Beyond the 350 feet of extension from the west 
the scarp continues, but has been arched over. On 
these arches a convent and many houses stand, so that 
minute and exact information as to this part of the 
moat is wanting. This continues for about one-third 
of its length, and is the reason why the whole subject 
of this moat is so obscure. To the east of this covered 
section, and in a line with it, lies the Birket Israil, a 
huge cemented tank whose dimensions are : — 

Length .... 360 feet 

Breadth .... 130 „ 
Depth . . . . 85 „ 


It communicates with two subterranean channels 
westward, by which it is supplied with water. These, 
however, must be of late construction, as the whole 
wet ditch was originally fed with the flow of water 
from some source without the Damascus Gate, the 
aqueduct conveying the water from which has lately 
been discovered and traced to the foot of Antonia. 1 

Of the thousand feet given as the necessary length 
of the Antonia moat, we thus have two-thirds, or 710 
feet, exposed and scientifically examined. The inter- 
vening 300 feet, dividing the two portions under survey, 
lie in the middle of its whole length. It is a pleasant 
thought that the soil now lying there is probably that 
placed by the Roman soldiers, upon which the un- 
imaginative builder has fastened as a site for his modern 

South of the moat and rising from its edge was that 
' weak wall ' which is described as the last hope of the 
Jews in their defence of this part of the Outer Temple 
(War vi. 1 § § 3, 4) . On its fall the Tower of Antonia still 
stood, and a temporary curtain within the separate wall 
was soon destroyed. When these were breached the 
north portico still stood, as its burning is described in the 
after history of the war. The relation of the three, the 
cloister leaning on the wall built for its support, and 
that again rising from the edge of the moat must be 
mentally restored if we are to have a complete view of 
this part of the Herodian Temple, of its defences, and 
of the part which the moat played in the memorable 
and final siege of the city till the Crusades. 

1 This ancient aqueduct has been traced within the walls of the city 
to a point between the Damascus Gate and the opening into the royal 



HAVING gone over, generally, the constituents of 
the Herodian Temple, we return to the central 
and main Enclosure to take a more particular view 
than before of its various parts. 

In a complex of buildings with such a heavy enclosure 
of walling as had the Tr (item 150), it would naturally 
occur to its constructors to build the containing wall 
last — the site having first been delimited. When this 
had been done, the apportionment of work between 
the Hebrews and the other Herodian builders would 
be decided on. This was fixed by the position of the 
Soreg, which cut off three parts of the site from the 
remainder. All within its line bore a higher sanctity 
than did any other part, and was included in the 
former part of the statement of Josephus that ' the 
Temple itself was built by the priests in a year and six 
months ; while Herod laboured at the porticoes, 1 
which he built in eight years' (Ant. xv. 11 §§ 5, 6). 
Here we have the division of labour which was dictated 
on the one hand by the ecclesiasticism of the priests 
and on the other by the inordinate ambition of Herod 

1 This statement is exactly correct. Herod's architects are known to 
have built only the Stoa Basilica, the portico called Solomon's, and the 
six furlongs of porticoes known as the Outer Temple. They may also have 
supplied the pillars for the Treasury colonnades. 



to make his Temple the finest in the world, and to do 
this in his own lifetime. 

The Soreg wall, one cubit in thickness, being built 
to a height of seven feet — above which stood the pillars 
of the Soreg — would be the boundary line between the 
Hebrew and the Greek builders. It stood exactly on 
the 75-feet line of the site, when taken from the east, 
and stretched across the whole breadth of the building 
site — a distance of 300 feet. Confining ourselves to its 
construction — its importance has already been pointed 
out — we find, when the time came for its completion, 
which may not have been till near the close of the 
earlier building operations, that it was divided into 
twenty-five spaces of twelve feet each in length. Of 
these, thirteen spaces were added to by being raised 
some three or four feet higher, and twelve left vacant 
as passageways. We know that this was so on the 
authority of Middoth, which has two references to the 
thirteen lengths of walling (ii. 3, 6) ; though it gives 
them in the usual Hebrew idiom — to which the prophet 
Malachi conforms (Mai. iii. 1) — of speaking of the 
three Temples, of Solomon, E ze kiel, and Herod, as if 
they were one building, or at least were built on the 
same plan. In the matter of their Soregs, the plan of 
Ezekiel completely differed from that of Herod, as may 
be seen by comparing their ground plans. Ignoring 
this difference, the Rabbis said that the Greek Kings— 
the reference is to Antiochus Epiphanes' profanation of 
the Temple— had made thirteen breaches in the Soreg, 
which the Jews had built up again, and now ordained 
thirteen obeisances opposite them. This means that 
when anyone came opposite either of the breaches 
he bowed himself before it and acknowledged with 


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thankfulness the destruction of the Greek Kings and 
the preservation of his faith. It is a beautiful tradition 
of the last Temple that every worshipper who passed 
through the Soreg, as he did so performed an act of 
grateful worship in remembering the history and 
vicissitudes of the house. Antiochus had evidently 
destroyed the Soreg of Ezekiel's Temple. 

We have a precious memorial of the last Temple in 
the Warning Stone, described in chapter xv. ; not one 
of its fellows bearing a Latin inscription has been 
recovered, though twelve stones in each language were 
set up. The possession of this one, however, enables 
us to complete the design of the Soreg with something 
of more than literary accuracy. 

There was one point in which contemporary Greek 
architecture was at one with the traditions and prece- 
dents of Temple construction from Solomon to Herod. 
This was the frequent use of opus reticulatum, specimens 
of which may be seen in any Greek building of that age, 
and are specially abundant' at Antium. (See photo- 
graph illustration taken at Puteoli.) 

In my description of the Solomonic Temple and in 
exegesis of 1 Kings x. 12 and 2 Chronicles ix. 11 the 
following words were used : ' There is no portion of 
the architecture of the Temple in which such " pillars " 
and " lattice work " could find a place except in the 
division between the courts, where every alternate 
space between the pillars was filled with wooden 
lattice work, as in the precedent of the Tabernacle 
Soreg, where palm boughs were used.' 1 The Soreg of 
Ezekiel's Temple was similarly constructed, 2 its wooden 

1 Solomon's Temple, 2nd Edit., 1908, pp. 311-12. The Tabernacle, 
2nd Edit., 1906, pp. 173-5. 

2 The Second Temple in Jerusalem, 1908, pp. 304, 307-8, 316, 328. 


lattices being called windows. In the Herodian 
Temple wooden lattices gave place to bricks of stone 
which were placed on edge, and so gave to the wall in 
which they stood an appearance of lozenge-shaped 
network [Middoth ii. 3 and note). This was a remi- 
niscence of the earlier Temples, and served to remind 
the beholders of the earlier Soregs. Such, then, was 
the formation of the thirteen lengths of brickwork 
which carried the Warning Stones in the last Temple. 
These lengths and the wall upon which they rested — 
destined afterwards to support the fourteen steps 
forbidden to Gentiles to pass, though they might 
ascend them — were necessarily built by Greek hands 
and measures, as reticulated work was a speciality 
of Greek architecture. It is seldom seen in remains of 
Roman or other work, and we cannot conceive that so 
inartistic a people as the Jews should have attained to 
it. There was this difficulty as to the building of the 
wall : that the unit of construction in the two nations 
did not agree. The Hebrews of this age used the cubit 
of 14-4 inches. The Greek foot was shorter, and did 
not read beyond 11 \ or nf inches. What M. Clermont 
Ganneau's discovered stone tells us, is that its breadth 
or thickness was 1 J Greek feet, or 15-56 British inches. 
This was rather over a single inch more than the cubit, 
but it was the nearest approximation to it, and was 
the measure by which the stone was cut, and presum- 
ably it overhung the wall to this extent. 

Josephus has several references to the Soreg wall, all 
of which are of interest and go to establish and illus- 
trate the argument of these pages, and the statement 
of Middoth (ii. 3) that the Soreg wall was of reticulated 
masonry. The first is as to its height and appearance : 


' Between the first and second Temples was a partition 
of stone, whose height was three cubits, of very elegant 
construction' {Ant. xv. 11 § 5). He would hardly 
have made this passing allusion to its elegance had it 
not differed in some striking respect from the masonry 
of all of the other parts of the building. 

Then as to its height, which he tells us was three 
cubits (3I feet). This differs by the given fraction of 
a foot from the ten handbreadths of Middoth (items 
109, no). The discrepancy here is however accounted 
for by other statements of Josephus as to the form of 
its construction. One is, ' upon which wall stood 
pillars, at equal distances from one another, declaring 
the law of purity, some in Greek, others in Roman 
letters.' Another, given in an imaginary speech of 
Titus to the rebels, is, ' Did not you . . . put up a 
wall of partition before your Holy of Holies ? Did you 
not put up pillars in the Temple at due distances, and 
engrave on them in Greek and Roman letters the order 
that no one should go beyond that wall ? ' (War v, 
5 § 2 and vi. 2 § 4). The point at issue here is that the 
inscriptions are said to have been written on ' pillars.' 
With the Warning Stone before us this can be under- 
stood only in the sense that these stones were raised 
above the level of the wall into which they were built. 
The construction drawing, therefore, shows the wall 
itself as 2 \ cubits high and the pillars as 3 cubits — 
these being the measurements above the level of the 
twelfth step. Both measures are incorporated into 
the text of these pages, with the result that a reason- 
able explanation is given of the ' pillars ' of Josephus. 

As to the legal basis upon which the sanctity of the 
Soreg of Herod's Temple rested we have, outside of 


Scripture, several statements. Those from the War 
are : — 

(a) ' No foreigner was to enter the holy place.' 

(&) Titus is made to say — 

' Did we [Romans] not give you leave to kill 
any that went beyond that wall, even though he 
were a Roman ? ' (v. 5 § 2 ; vi. 2 § 4, and iv. 
3 § 10). 

Those from the Antiquities are- — 

(a) ' Inscriptions forbidding any foreigner to enter 

under pain of death ' (xv. n § 5). 

(b) The citation of the words of a decree of Antiochus 
II— 223-187 B.C. — refers to the second Temple — 

' It shall be lawful for no foreigner to come 
within the precincts of the Temple, which is for- 
bidden also to the Jews, unless to those who have 
purified themselves according to their national 
custom ' (xii. 3 § 4). 

Of eminent personages, Julius Caesar — who died 
44 B.C. — is undoubtedly the greatest benefactor and 
friend that the Chosen People had in the later part of 
their national history. Repeatedly, during his brief 
tenure of power as Consul and Dictator, he issued 
decrees and rescripts which were favourable to the 
Jews. Not only did these documents — copies of which 
may be seen in the eighth and tenth chapters of the 
fourteenth book of the Antiquities — confirm the Jews 
in the possession of all their ancient religious rites and 
laws, but he wrote to Sidon, Delos, and other places 
under Roman rule, forbidding any persecution of the 
Hebrew settlers or any interference with their financial 


support of the Temple in Jerusalem. His liberal policy 
in these matters was followed by his successors, and 
to him and to them we may trace that immunity from 
insult and that independence of outer control in the 
sanctity of their Temple which we find obtaining 
during the long reign of Herod the Great, and after, 
till the fall of the Temple in a.d. 70. 


There were three Soregs in Herod's Temple. The 
smallest of these stood between the two worshipping 
courts and forbade laymen to advance into the Naos. 
The second was that to which this chapter has been 
devoted, and forbade Gentiles to enter the Hieron. 
The third was that which surrounded the terrace of the 
Temple, and is discussed in chapter xix. It was 
perhaps ultimately used as a barrier to persons ex- 
communicated by the Sanhedrin, as was the blind man 
of John ix. 34. 


BROADLY speaking, the heavy containing-walls 
of the Temple Square — apart from the Gentile 
portion — held two areas nearly equal in size and 
differing greatly in their relative ecclesiastical value 
and sanctity. These were named respectively the 
Hieron and the Naos, the former of which had the 
lesser dignity and is the subject of present con- 

The topographical line of distinction between them 
was known to every Jew, and is, happily, recoverable 
by ourselves. 

Lying to the west of the Soreg was a rectangular 
space, 250 cubits in width from north to south, and 
187 cubits from east to west. The line of demarcation 
between the Hieron and the Naos roughly followed 
the division of this space into two areas each of 125 
cubits wide. This was only generally so. Nowhere 
did the separating line fall upon this ideal line of 
division, as in one part it exceeded it and in another 
fell short of it. 

As one entered the Temple from the east, the Naos 
lay to the right, beyond the lay court for worship, and 
the Hieron to the left. Between the two sacred areas 
was an irregular line of almost unbroken walling which, 
for 135 cubits from the west, trenched for 10 cubits, 



or 12 feet, on the half which lay to the right. It did 
so in order to allow of the completion of the square of 
135 cubits of which the Treasury or Women's Court 
consisted (items 103, 104). A re-entering angle then 
occurred of 20 cubits in length, toward the south. The 
former direction was then resumed for the distance of 
52 cubits, 1 thus completing the 187 cubits of the 
dividing line. This was the length of each of the figures 
— the Hieron side and the Naos side — when measured 
from east to west, though the interior court of the 
Naos did not extend eastward beyond the priestly 
Soreg which stood above the steps on either side of the 
altar. Its length, therefore, was 176 cubits, the balance 
of 11 cubits being taken up by the court in which lay 
worshippers might stand, and which formed a portion 
of the Hieron. 

This division of distances and spaces is made upon 
the authority of Middoth, which, in addition to giving 
separately the gross sizes of the two sides (items 95 ff ., 
88 ff ., and 103, 104) in its notes taken from the Talmud, 
discusses the point as to whether the members of the 
Sanhedrin might sit in the vestibule or veranda of 
their own hall. The decision is that the Sanhedrin sat 
only in the less hallowed chamber Gazith, and only 
Kings of the House of David might sit in the more holy 
area. The distinction here made is beyond compre- 
hension until we have a plan of the ground before us. 
It is then apparent that ' the place of the pillars ' 
(Middoth v. 2), or pillared portico, is a part of the inner 
court which lay between the slope of the altar and the 

1 Fifty-two cubits was also the width given to the Solomon's Portico or 
Court of the Gentiles (item 115). Such duplication of numbers is charac- 
teristic of the time, as may be seen by instances in the Schedule of 


Gazith chamber. In the discussion this veranda was 
reckoned as a part of the hall, although outside its 
walls. In this part, it is agreed, seats were not allowed, 
but only within the walls of the chamber itself, which 
latter was therefore of inferior sanctity and a part of 
the Hieron. 

The distinction so awkwardly arrived at is, however, 
a vital one, and carries with it the argument that all 
that part of the inner court which lay north of Gazith 
and west of the low wall of partition was reckoned to 
belong to the Naos and not to the Hieron. 

With this conclusion before us we may proceed to a 
more minute and careful analysis of the parts of the 
Hieron, and remark that it consisted mainly, though 
not entirely, of a large rectangular space of 162 feet 
measurement on each of its four sides, as to which 
Josephus says, ' It was square and had its own wall 
round it ' (War v. 5 § 2). Following the precedent of 
the previous Temple, there was built in each of its four 
corners an enclosure (items 105, 106). These en- 
closures, in Ezekiel's Temple plan, had been 48 by 36 
feet, inclusive of their walls, and were not roofed over, 
but were open spaces, walled in, and contained a 
number of fire-places with large cauldrons built in over 
them. In these the sacrificial meats were cooked. 1 
This arrangement it was now determined to continue, 
with certain additions and improvements. As a larger 
building space was now at the service of the builders, 
they determined to devote squares of 48 feet in the 
corners of the court to the culinary service of the 
Temple (item 105). These spaces were not, however, 
as before, to be used solely for the purpose of providing 

1 Ezek. xlvi. 21-4. 


refreshments for the attendants at the Temple. Be- 
neath each set of fire-places and cauldrons a room was 
built upon the stone-floored roof of which the cooking 
was done. 

In an incidental way Josephus (War v. 5 § 2) gives 
us the height of the walls which served this double 
purpose. It was 25 cubits, of which probably 20 cubits 
were given to the rooms and 5 cubits used as parapets 
for the fire-places. The purposes to which the four 
chambers beneath the fires were devoted may be 
learnt from Middoth, which has two references to them. 
In the first of them (ii. 5) the four are specifically named 
seriatim, with their uses, and are quaintly said to have 
been ' smoky.' In the other (v. 4), those only which 
abutted upon the ground of the Naos are spoken of, 
but additional information is given of other chambers, 
to be used in the sequel. There is no discrepancy in 
these two passages of the Mishna, and in their light we 
may proceed to see to what purposes those rooms, which 
were an entirely new element of the Temple, were put. 

1. The chamber in the south-east angle of the court 
was the clerical office of the Temple. It had its own 
outer entrance in one of the three great gates on that 
side of the wall, as also a smaller door, with a level- 
crossing, which led to the room opposite. Here were 
kept all the daily records and registers of the nation, 
together with entries of all gifts and sacrifices. All vows 
made were registered here and their fulfilment recorded. 
Hither, then, came St. Paul in fulfilment of his vow on 
his last sad visit to Jerusalem (Acts xxi. 26). Here 
also the presentation of the infant Jesus took place, and 
His enrolment as a descendant of David, a fact after- 
wards generally known and never questioned (Mark x. 


47). Technically it was known as the Chamber of the 
Nazirites, or of such as were under vows, temporary or 
permanent, and Middoth says, ' Here they shaved 
their hair and cast it under a pot,' in exact obedience 
to the Mosaic rule in Numbers vi. 18, as to the comple- 
tion of the act. (Compare Acts xxi. 24.) 

As, after the fall and burning of the Temple, Jose- 
phus narrates the burning of the house of the ' archives,' 
it is probable that the completed genealogies and 
national records were kept in a separate place some- 
where within the city, 1 and not in the south-east 
chamber of the Temple. This was a place of current 
business, that a library. 

2. Opposite to the south-east chamber was one of the 
same size within which was stored the tithes and 
sacrifices of corn and oil that were the due of the 
Temple, the wine being kept elsewhere. It was known 
as the House of Oil, and supplied abundance of pro- 
visions to that party of Zealots who had ' seized upon 
the inner court of the Temple ' in the civil strife that 
preceded the siege (War v. 1 § 2). 

3. The chamber in the north-west corner was the 
place of examination of lepers. Jesus' ' Go, show thy- 
self to the priest ' a (Matt. viii. 4) was a recognition of 
the old law of Leviticus xiv., by which a period of seven 

1 Before the archive-room was burnt with all its contents, Josephus had 
taken out of it, by favour of Titus, copies of the sacred books of the Old 
Testament, afterwards used by him in the preparation of his Antiquities. 
Another copy was placed by Vespasian in the Temple of Peace in Rome 
(Life of Josephus § 75 ; Against Apion i. 10 ; War vii. 5 \\ 5, 7). 

3 The injunction to the man 'See thou tell no man,' was doubtless 
given lest, the miracle becoming known, the priests should refuse to pro- 
nounce him clean, and so the ' testimony ' be destroyed. The testimony 
was intended to be one by which the priests should be compelled to admit 
that the man was now clean, and that a notable miracle had consequently 
been wrought. 


days was to pass between two examinations of a patient 
who professed to have been cured of his leprosy. These 
days were spent in the seclusion of this chamber and 
under the eye of the priesthood. 

4. The fourth chamber was the wood-house of the 
Temple, and as such was near the great altar, the fires 
of which were maintained by its supplies. It is prob- 
able that an opening through its wall on the north side 
allowed of logs and faggots -being passed through it 
to the immediate neighbourhood of the fire-hearth. 

In Jerusalem, adjoining the great causeway in the 
Tyropcean Valley, is a large open hall, known as the 
Makhama. It is a square, and in each of its corners is 
a room — giving to the whole an appearance similar to 
that of the Treasury in the days of Christ. 

In the centre of the great Hall Makhama is a drain to 
carry off the water which falls on its unroofed portion. 

As the origin and age of this large hall are unknown, 
it is not impossible that it is an ancient Jewish building 
reproducing many of the features of the once-existing 

These four apartments in the Treasury covered a 
combined area of 96 feet square, out of the total of 
162 feet square of which the court consisted. There 
were other items of subtraction from the remainder, in 
the space taken up by the broad steps, as may be seen 
by a reference to the Plan. The balance, however, was 
an irregular figure, in which were placed the feasting 
colonnades. To these no definite figures of size can be 
gleaned from ancient documents ; and they are shown 
on the Plan as being in the shape of a T, with broad 
walks around them on three of their sides. Josephus 


speaks of them as single cloisters, extending from the 
[west] wall inward in front of the treasure chambers, 
and as being in no way inferior in architecture to those 
of the lower or Gentile Court. They are, therefore, 
given the same width as a single arcade of that cloister 
with pillars of the same diameter. 

This wide space of open and unroofed colonnades 
was the great meeting-place of the Jewish people of all 
lands. Here they and their wives and children might 
be sure that they would not surfer annoyance by con- 
tact with Gentiles or those of any alien faith. The 
social uses of this open hall— to which not even prose- 
lytes were admitted — did not escape the keen eye of 
Josephus, who thus refers to them : — 

' Those Hebrews that live in all parts, however 
remote, . . . maintain a friendly feeling with 
one another, by meeting and feasting together ; 
for it is a good thing for those that are of the 
same stock, and under the same laws, not to be 
unacquainted with each other ; which ac- 
quaintance will be maintained by their thus 
conversing together, and by seeing and talking 
with one another, and so renewing their memory 
of one another ; for if they do not thus converse 
together occasionally they will appear mere 
strangers to one another ' (Ant. iv. 8 § 7). 

Of this commendable family feeling, which gave to 
the Hebrews such unparalleled unity and strength of 
national character, the place under consideration was 
the chief theatre. It was never so gay and festive as 
in the autumn of each year, when the whole court was 
turned into a bower of green, by ' the making of Taber- 


nacles to God in the Temple ' (War vi. 5 § 3), and when 
every visitor carried in his hands a bough of myrtle 
or willow or a branch of a palm, together with a fruit 
of one kind or another (Ant. iii. 10 § 4). 

Josephus sometimes calls this elevated enclosure 
' the Court of the Women ' — as in War vi. 9 § 2, v. 5 § 2 
— but he is not uniform in his use of the name, and at 
other times speaks of it as ' the inner court ' to dis- 
tinguish it from the first court, which in his mind at 
the time was that of the Gentiles. 1 In Middoth it is 
distinctively and uniformly known as the Women's 
Court, and in the New Testament always as the 
Treasury. It is so named in each of the Evangelists. 
Neither of these names was its official designation ; 
they are derived from its most general uses : ' Women's 
Court ' because not only were women limited to it, but 
they were not allowed the same egress as men at gate 
No. 1. When leaving the Temple they were required 
to retrace their steps to the Soreg, after passing which 
they went out at gates numbered 3 and 6, one leaf of 
the latter of which was known as the Gate of the 
Women (Middoth ii. 6). Nor, while within the court 
that was named from them, were they at all times free 
from further isolation. The universal practice in 
synagogues of placing women worshippers in a gallery 
had its origin in the fact that in the last Temple were 
galleries or balconies to be occupied by women only. 2 
From these they were supposed to see the smoke of the 
altar fires, if not the altar itself. Middoth says that it 
was done to keep the sexes separate, that they might 
not be tempted to levity. In the avoidance of this 

1 War v. I § 2, 5 ; iv. 3 § 12. 

2 Graetz, History of the Jews, says that three of the chambers had 
balconies around thern. Vol. I, p. 3. 



name by the writers of the New Testament we have an 
instance of theirdelicacy of feeling toward woman. 

It was known as ' The Treasury ' because on either 
side of the entrance to it, at gate No. 13, was a number 
of wooden chests with trumpet -shaped openings, into 
which contributions were dropped. These chests 
numbered thirteen, and each one was marked with the 
object to which donations put into it were to be applied. 

A hitherto unmentioned structural peculiarity of 
this court was the number of steps within and around 
it. To the north were the fifteen narrow, circular steps 
that led down to the area of the Temple proper, upon 
which, according to Middoth ii. 5, the Levites chanted 
the fifteen songs of degrees. These are our psalms 
numbered cxx. to cxxxiv., and the fact that the number 
of these songs of ascent corresponds with the number of 
steps upon which they were sung is a fact full of signifi- 
cance as to the late date at which they received their 

To the south were the ten steps mentioned by 
Josephus in the closing sentence of War v. 5 § 3. As 
this reference is liable to be misread, a liberal para- 
phrase of it may be given in these words : — 

From the Court of the Women toward the Nicanor 
Gate were fifteen broad steps, which led away from its 
wall. From the interior of the same court ten other 
steps led to the south gates (which are those numbered 
1 and 2), which in each case opened upon a broad 
pavement outside of the wall. 1 

1 The height of the Women's Court floor having been shown to be 
10 cubits above the Chel outside, these ten steps of half a cubit each 
would reduce this by half only. To the other half is given the slope that 
led away from Gabbatha. From the above paraphrastic citation we learn 
that the ' broad pavement outside the wall ' extended beyond the limits of 
the two gates and filled up the space between them. 


Hiera, or holy places, were common in Judaism, 
and we find them mentioned as existing in extra 
Palestinian countries, as at Philippi (Acts xvi. 13, 16). 
They derived their sacredness from their dedication 
to acts of worship and from their past associations 
and not from the record of any special manifestation 
of God in them, such as that which gave to the Temple 
site its hallowed character. The Hieron at Jerusalem 
shared only in this lesser sanctity, though it was as 
jealously guarded by the priests as was the Naos itself. 
One reason of this may have been the loss of all popular 
respect for the Chel under the Roman rule. There 
seemed, therefore, all the more reason that what 
remained to them of the outer defences of the Temple 
should be made the most of. This applied only to the 
non-Jew. Members of the stock of Abraham were at 
liberty to erect such buildings within it, and to put it 
to such uses as seemed to them to be desirable. We 
find, accordingly, besides those already mentioned, 
that there were other halls or rooms built upon it. 
Middoth (v. 4) gives us a group of these. One of them 
was the Chamber of the Draw-well, in which water 
was drawn up by a wheel for Temple uses. The tank 
itself from which the water was drawn was cut on 
the return from Babylon and was incorporated into the 
Herodian system. An underground tank of irregular 
shape has been discovered lying due east of the Sakhrah 
Stone, but there is no evidence to show that it was the 
one intended in the text of Middoth, or by what means, 
other than a wheel, the water was obtained. Many 
other tanks he to the south of this one, some of which 
are more favourably placed for this purpose than the 
one above mentioned. Another hall was named 


Gazith, or the Hall of Hewn Stones. This was the 
official meeting-place of the Sanhedrin. No particulars 
as to its size are available. It has, therefore, been 
drawn as of the same size, i.e. a square of 48 feet, as 
the other chambers in the Hieron. Of these three 
adjoining structures, Middoth (v. 4) says, ' The chamber 
of the High Priest [Gazith is meant] was behind the 
other two [i.e. the wood and water houses], and 
there was an even roof to all three,' upon which 
the High Priest walked. A glance at the Plan will 
show how these conditions have been met, the build- 
ings covering the ground available, with the exception 
of a narrow passage or covered way of two cubits wide, 
which, though the only item wholly without written 
authority, is still absolutely necessary, from an archi- 
tectural point of view, as a means of easy access from 
the neighbourhood of the altar to the Court of the 

The former of the two courts named ' of Israel ' and 
' of the Priests ' also belonged to the Hieron, as they 
lay on either side of the inner partition for their whole 
length (items 89, 90) , and served the purpose of allowing 
laymen to see and touch the base of the altar while yet 
preventing them from intruding into that part reserved 
for priests. 

Two minor items of the Hieron are mentioned by 
Josephus. One is the ' distance of ten cubits, all level,' 
which lay between the fourteen steps of the Soreg and 
the wall of the High Priest's chamber, Gazith (item 
108). These ten cubits were an even continuation of 
the Court of Israel, which was of this width. This part 
of the Hieron thus stretched from the outer wall on the 
south to that on the north., and was a fitting finish to 


the narrow steps which gave admission to both portions 
of the Hieron. The other was that long flight of broad 
steps which led from this level space up to the gate 
giving entrance to the Treasury (Gate No. 13). These 
steps numbered fifteen, and were six feet broad and 
forty-two long. Each had a ' rise ' of but a sixth of a 
cubit, or less than three inches. The whole was a noble 
sign of welcome to the incoming guests to the tables of 
the Lord's house and to the seats by which they were 
surrounded (item 107). Many passages of the Book 
of Psalms and the Prophets refer to the material eating 
and drinking which went on in the house of the Lord 
as an aspect of Temple worship. A specimen of these 
is : ' They shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and 
shall flow together to the goodness of Jehovah, for 
wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of 
the flock and of the herd ' (Jer. xxxi. 12). 

Of the area of the Hieron, as laid down above, all is 
now applied to buildings, steps, or open atria, except 
one small space. This vacant site is that on the south- 
east corner, where a plot of land 40 by 42 cubits re- 
mained unappropriated. We cannot think where such 
good use was made of every inch of ground that this 
corner was unoccupied. Here, then, is placed that 
second court for the Sanhedrists which we know to have 
existed, and of which we have indications in the writ- 
ings of the New Testament historians, where our Lord 
speaks of Sanhedrins (Matt. x. 17 ; Mark xiii. 9). 

Referring to an earlier chapter for the full account 
of the trial and condemnation of Jesus as they are 
associated with the Temple, let us see what each of the 
Evangelists has to say about this particular hall, in 
which took place the main trial of strength between 


malignant envy (Matt, xxvii. 18) and innocent and 
voluntary helplessness. For here was that place to 
which Jesus was led on His capture, 1 otherwise de- 
scribed as ' the High Priest's house ' (Luke xxii. 54). 
The usage by which the chief place of authority is 
described in these two Gospels as the ' house ' of the 
man wielding authority is one common to the age. 
We have already instanced Gazith as being ' the 
Chamber of the High Priest ' (Middoth v. 4). And 
that Annas may be the man intended by Mark in each 
of his five mentions of the High Priest 2 is rendered 
feasible by his having held that office, though now 
deposed, and by the fact that the title was retained by 
and accorded to anyone who had once held it — as is 
done in Luke iii. 2 and Acts iv. 6. On this point the 
witness of John, who of all the Apostles clung most 
closely to his Master, is of special value. It is as clear 
as it is decisive, the words being — 

' So the cohort and the military tribune and the 
officers of the Jews seized Jesus and bound 
Him, and led Him to Annas 3 first ; for he was 
father-in-law to Caiaphas, which was High 
Priest that year ' (John xviii. 12, 13). 

Here then, just within the Water Gate, was that 
lesser Sanhedrin Hall over which Annas presided. In 
the darkness of that night, and before a packed jury 

1 Matt. xxvi. 57 simply says that they who had taken Jesus led Him 
away to Caiaphas. Nothing is said about a 'house,' the insertion of 
which word in the R.V. is unauthorized and misleading. When the 
soldiers had delivered their prisoner to the Temple authorities their work 
was done. Whether delivered to Caiaphas in person or not is immaterial. 
He was the instigator of the arrest. 

2 The instances are vv. 53, 54, 60, 61, 63 of Mark xiv. 

8 Josephus tells us that Annas and his five sons and sons-in-law, all of 
whom held the High Priesthood in succession, were Sadducees (Acts iv. 6.) 


of twenty-three members, the world's darkest deed 
was done for the accomplishment of man's salvation. 

There were seven separate halls or chambers about 
the Temple. Four of these have their area given to us. 
Including their walls, as standing upon it, this was a 
square of 40 cubits, or 48 feet, in each case. Three others, 
for the size of which no literary proof can be found, 
were the two Sanhedrin halls and the Beth Moked. 
To these three, therefore, the draughtsman of the Plan 
has given the same size as to the others. No difficulty 
has been found in doing this, and in this way the whole 
space of the Enclosure is covered without excess and 
without waste. 



THE Greek word naos when used of Jewish 
temples is apt to be misleading, as the 
temples of the two nations were not identical in 
form, nor were they intended to serve the same 
secondary purposes. Both were for worship, and in 
the precincts of each sacrifices were offered; but in 
the one case the sacrificial meats were carried away 
to be eaten at home, 1 and in the other they were not so 
carried, the Passover lambs excepted. The classical 
usage is for naos to mean the chamber or chambers in 
which the statues of the gods were placed, and pronaos 
to mean the porch or ante-room by which the Naos was 
approached. There were, even in the largest and most 
famous of the temples of Greece, no such vast atria and 
mass of halls and chambers as belonged to the Herodian 
structure. Consequently, when the terms of one 
language are applied to the buildings of the other, the 
result is apt to be discordant and confusing. It is so 
here. In the mouth of a Greek-speaking Hebrew the 
word naos had two significations. It carried, firstly, 
its Greek meaning, and indicated the two holy cham- 
bers only, as it does in Matthew xxiii. 16. More 

1 In I Corinthians viii. 10 the word used for an idol's temple is elSib\iop, 
and not either hieron or naos. 



commonly, however, its sense was conterminous with 
all that part of the Temple which, in Hebrew history 
and legislation, was known as ' most holy,' in con- 
tradistinction to 'holy.' 1 This space included the 
altar with all its belongings, but did not include one of 
the two worshipping courts. We thus arrive at the 
topographical conclusion that all the space of the third 
Temple that lay west of the small priestly Soreg (not 
the larger Gentile one), and north of the Hieron, is the 
portion usually spoken of as the Naos. 

We take, then, the items of the Naos, as the word 
was usually understood by the Jews, as the subjects 
of present consideration. 

A_ Hebrew man entering the Hieron for purposes of 
worship — as did the Pharisee in the parable— after 
crossing Solomon's Portico, would ascend the fourteen 
steps of the Soreg — on one of which he would make his 
obeisance of thanks to God for liberty of conscience. 
Passing between two of the inscribed pillars of warning, 
he would find himself standing on the floor of the Court 
of Israel (items 89, 95). This was a narrow strip of 
elevated pavement, with a front of 162 feet in length, 
and a width of 12 feet only. Its superficial area con- 
tained 216 yards, and if we allow standing room for 
three persons to every square yard of superficies, not 
so many as seven hundred people could find standing 
room thereon. A calculation such as this may assist 
in bringing out the fact that the worship of the Temple 
was essentially different from anything known to our- 
selves. Its true example of individual action is con- 
tained in the parable already referred to of the two 
men who went up into the Temple to pray ; one of 

1 As in the book of Leviticus passim, 


these would not be satisfied to proceed till his feet 
touched the upper surface of the altar platform which 
projected — beneath a layer of masonry— for this 
purpose into the Court of Israel. Here he ' stood,' in 
the most favoured spot on earth, with one outstretched 
hand so as to touch the base of the altar, in order that 
the law of contact therewith might be observed. 1 The 
publican standing ' afar off,' i.e. in Solomon's Portico, 
was not able to see the altar. 2 It was such blows to 
superstition and the established order of things as this 
parable of Jesus that so roused the malignity of the 
clerical party as to incite them to compass His death. 
Immediately to the west of the laymen's court was 
that of the priests. This was of the same size as the 
other, but the courts were separated by ' pointed 
pieces of wood,' i.e. by a low continuous railing less 
than fifteen inches high (Middoth ii. 6). The presence 
of this railing brings out a structural peculiarity not 
before mentioned. It is that within the Temple there 
was no admixture of clergy and laity, except in that 
part of the Hieron which lay outside the courts for 
worship. All priests — whether for duty or not— who 
went to the Temple entered and left it by the Beth- 
Moked Gate (No. 4). From thence those who were 
free of duty might pass to the Priests' Court, as indi- 
vidual worshippers, by ascending ten steps on either 
side of the altar, where they would be within the line 
of the inner Soreg. 

1 i.e. 'Whatsoever [or whosoever] toucheth the altar shall be holy' 
(Exodus xxix. 37). To this law reference is made in Matt, xxiii. 17, 19, 
and in Malachi ii. 13. 

s The publicans were almost always Gentiles, as few Jews could be 
found to face the odium of collecting Roman taxes from their brethren. 
Levi, after his call to the apostleship known as Matthew, was one of these 


The Levites, like the priests, had their own entrance 
to the Temple . This was the western half of No . 6 gate , 
the other half being used for the egress of women. 
Hence its two names of the Gate of the Women and 
the Gate of Song (Middoth ii. 6). Somewhere in the 
neighbourhood of the fourteen steps of the greater 
Soreg were little chambers, or cupboards, where the 
Levites placed their instruments of music, which they 
took out when on their way to the Treasury steps of 
Song, where the orchestra stood. Possibly these cup- 
boards were under the short flight of steps just within 
their own gate, by which they ascended to the Court of 
Israel (Middoth ii. 6). By the law of Numbers iv. 20, 
Levites were not allowed to enter the Naos. 

One of the most interesting subjects on which we can 
gain light from these ancient records is the way in 
which their sacred Scriptures were used for the in- 
struction of the people. No one can thoughtfully read 
the New Testament without being struck by the fact 
that not only Christ Himself, but His auditors and 
opponents also, had a good knowledge of their national 
literary treasures. How did they get this ? Not by 
having copies of the law and the prophets in every 
house, but only in every synagogue. Josephus was 
a priest of good standing among his countrymen till he 
joined the Romans, yet he refers to his acquirement 
of a manuscript copy of the Old Testament with a note 
of triumph, ' I had also the holy books, by Titus' con- 
cession ' (Life, § 75) ; 'I translated the Antiquities out 
of our sacred books ' (Agt. Apion i. § 10). 

The only way in which, before the invention of 
printing, a general knowledge of records, many of them 
a thousand years old, could have been acquired was by 


their being publicly read from time to time. Following 
the instruction of the law itself and the example of 
Ezra, one of the five books of Moses was read with 
certain regularity. Josephus does not describe the 
scene as it was in his day — would that he had done so ! 
— but, recounting the ordinance, he gives a paraphrase 
of Deuteronomy xxxi. 10 f ., which is coloured by con- 
temporary knowledge. In this he tells us that the 
High Priest 1 stood upon a high desk at every seventh 
Feast of Tabernacles and read aloud the laws to men, 
women, children, and even slaves (Ant: iv. 8 § 12). 
Middoth comes in here and tells us where the duchan 
or pulpit was placed, from which description may be 
inferred the place of the congregation. It stood in the 
Court of the Priests, facing east, and was raised, by 
five steps, three feet above the level of the court. 
(Middoth ii. 6. See figure on Plan.) Here it faced the 
great Solomonic Portico, 3 which we know held six 
thousand persons— -when all stood. Besides these, 
there were two courts of Hebrew worshippers, with 
room for between one and two thousand more. There 
were other vacant spaces within sound of the reader's 
voice, so that not less than ten thousand persons may 
have heard the reading of the law at any one session. 
The great occasion when this was done was in the 
autumn, when, the year's harvesting being over, the 
nation's workers had leisure to attend to divine things. 

1 The Mishna records that King Herod Agrippa (41 to 44 A.D.) 
publicly read the passage Deut. xvii. I4-I5> after his accession to the throne 
of Judah (Solah, vii. 8). The reading of the Scriptures was not then, as 
it is not now, a wholly priestly function. Agrippa's presence within the 
limits of the Naos is an element in favour of Herod the Great's having 
established a precedent in his occupation of the oratory. 

2 Its length being 100 yards and its width 21 yards (items 114, 115)) 
gives a superficies of 2100 square yards, to each of which three persons may 
be allotted. 


If this was the chief it was not the only occasion when 
such instruction was imparted. The opening of the 
ministry of Jesus at Nazareth (Luke iv. 17), and the 
declaration of the President of the first Council at 
Jerusalem, that Moses, from of old, hath in every city 
them that preach him, being read in the Synagogues 
every Sabbath (Acts xv. 21), tell us that the reading or 
' preaching ' of the Scriptures was a principal part of 
the Synagogue worship. That this practice was copied 
from the Temple service admits of no reasonable doubt. 
Besides the chanting of the special psalms for every 
day of the week, the numbers of which are known 
{Tamid vii. 4), and the fifteen psalms which were sung 
daily on every great occasion of a festival (Ps. 120 to 
r34), there was much Biblical instruction 1 of those to 
whom Jesus said, ' Ye search the Scriptures, because 
in them ye think ye have eternal life ' (John v. 39). 
This searching took place, for the most part, in the 
Temple, and will account for that minute and accurate 
knowledge of their holy books which the average Jew 
of our Lord's time possessed. The source and spring 
of this teaching we have in the pulpit of wood which 
stood in the Court of the Priests, beside the altar of God, 
in the Temple of Herod. The Temple discussions as to 
what was read took place in the Treasury, in one of the 
rooms of which the sacred books were kept. Here it 
was that the boy Jesus sat both asking and answering 
questions when He was twelve years of age. 

On three of its sides the platform of the great altar 
of sacrifice was surrounded by a depressed pavement, 
lying six feet below the upper surface of the platform. 

1 The fifty-four Sabbath sections, and other divisions of the Hebrew 
lectionary, are given in Hasting's Bible Dictionary, Art. Bible. The ten 
commandments were read every day in Gazith. (Comp. Tamid v. i). 


On the fourth or east side the two worshipping courts 
were built up to a level with this surface, so as to admit 
of easy access to the altar — it being the inalienable 
privilege of every Hebrew to touch that holy object 
at the moment of making his petition ; and thus to 
identify himself with the great propitiatory work of 
which it was the scene and symbol. 

When, therefore, any worshipper had made his 
devotions at the altar, if a layman or Levite, he left it 
by a gateway (unmentioned) which must have marked 
off the southern termination of the Court of Israel ; 
if a priest, by passing the ten steps or by descending 
the incline or slope (items 86, 101) of the altar and 
passing through the narrow covered way. Each would 
then ascend the broad steps leading to the Treasury, 
where there were fewer restraints, and social converse 
might be engaged in. In doing this the priest would 
pass beneath an open portico of some twenty-four feet 
wide. This has already been shown to be a portion of 
the Naos (chap, xxiv.), and was the common lounging- 
place — no seats being allowed — of those priests who 
waited for the lots to be cast by the High Priest within 
Gazith, which should decide as to who should offer 
incense in the holy chambers. It is mentioned in 
Middoth (v. 2) only as ' the place of the pillars.' The 
learned John Lightfoot translates the sentence, ' The 
residue of space which was between the rise-and-the- 
fall (i.e. the altar slope) was also a place of low pillars ' 
(Prospect of the Temple, chap. xxxv). 

Passing by these veranda pillars, which hardly 
obstructed the view of the altar from the south end of 
the worshipping courts, a visitor going westward would 
see, on his right hand, the great laver at which the 


sacrificing priests washed their feet and their hands 
from time to time. As Elisha poured water on the 
hands of Elijah, so was the arrangement here. No man 
ever dipped his hand into the water of the laver. 
Eastern good manners forbade this; so that round about 
this laver, as about the great sea in the Solomonic 
Temple, were jets which, being opened, allowed the 
water to gush out. In this way was the laver gradually 
emptied of its contents, which found their way, a few 
feet off, into the head of the underground sewer (item 
85) that led to the Kidron Valley — to be described 
further on. It was filled, we may suppose, by hand 
from a dipping basin in the conduit that brought 
water, 1 as in Ezekiel's Temple, ' from the right side of 
the house, on the south of the altar, from under the 
threshold of the house ' (Ezek. xlvii. 1). 

Before the visitor now stood the front elevation of 
the Temple itself ; in the rear of which was the debir, 
or most holy place. Its three dimensions being the 
same and forming that most perfect of geometrical 
figures, a cube, exercised a dominating influence over 
the proportions of the whole series of co-ordinate 
structures. Thus the great altar was made to conform 
to it by being a cube of 20 cubits. In order to effect 
this result the five cubits of its platform were included 
in its height, but not in its breadth. The whole 
external fabric of the Temple proper was one of 100 
cubits, this being the height of the porch, the width of 
the shoulders, and the depth of the building. The 
architectural ideal undoubtedly was to make all areas 
square and all solid bodies cubes. 

The approach to the sacred shrine of the Invisible 

1 For the watei sitpply of the Temple see chapter xxviii. 


Deity was a noble one. Not only did its amplitude 
witness to the spaciousness of the thoughts of those 
who built it, but the upper surface of these steps was 
the chief scene of some of the most important functions 
of the priesthood. Here the High Priest stood when 
he blessed the people. Here the priests, with silver 
trumpets, continually blew blasts while the burnt- 
offering was being consumed (Num. x. 10). Here, 
according to the prophet Joel (ii. 17), was the ordinary 
place where the assembled priests made their inter- 
cessory prayers for the nation. Here the signal was 
similarly given for the people to prostrate themselves 
at the end of the reading of every section of the Law 
(Tamid vi. § 3). In the Book of Psalms the use of the 
word Selah may indicate this. 

Owing to the intimate connection between the ideas 
represented by the Naos chambers and the altar — in 
the former of which dwelt Jehovah, and at the latter 
of which stood His suppliants — it was determined that 
this relation should be embodied in stone, so as to be 
visible to all. As, therefore, the platform of the altar 
was 50 cubits in breadth (item 70), so was also the 
breadth of the Temple steps 50 cubits. Similarly the 
top of the altar was a square of 20 cubits. 

The whole space between the outer wall of the 
Temple porch and the elevation of the altar platform 
was 22 cubits (items 66 ff.) ; so that the space for 
allocation was the same on the west of the altar as on 
its east, where were the praying courts. In the latter 
case the width of the two worshipping courts with their 
partitions was n cubits each ; and in the former were 
seven steps, each of a cubit in width, and three landings 
covering 10 additional cubits. Five cubits of the 22 


remain ; these it was determined to throw into a 
passage-way for the priests, so that in the performance 
of their duties they might with more ease than here- 
tofore pass from one side of the altar to the other side. 
Hitherto the rule had been imperative that no priest 
might pass between the Temple and the altar, and all 
sacrificial meats were carried behind the altar, i.e. to 
its east, to their place, whether in the kitchens of the 
outer court or to be placed above the altar fires. The 
arrangements in earlier use may be seen developed in 
Ezekiel's Temple Plan in the author's Second Temple 
in Jerusalem. This awkward but reverential method 
it was now decided to alter, and a narrow way was 
provided by which all meats issued from the slaughter- 
ing place on the north of the altar might be carried to 
their destination by the shortest and most direct route. 
This six-feet passage-way between the steps and the 
altar also served another and more important purpose. 
Adjoining its breadth ran that conduit of fresh water 
which laved the foot of the altar platform, and into the 
stream of which the blood of the sacrificial victims was 
poured. The horizontal surface of the altar base was 
marked by a red line six feet above the datum pave- 
ment. Above this height a few drops of uncoagulated 
blood were sprinkled from all burnt -offerings and sin- 
offerings. The rest of the still warm blood was passed 
into the running water that flowed constantly in the 
conduit at the foot of the platform. The blood of all 
other offerings was lightly sprinkled on the side of the 
platform below the red line, and the remainder passed 
into the conduit. The width of this conduit was one 
cubit, leaving four others for the tread of human feet. 
As in Ezekiel's Temple Plan, the water conduit at the 


foot of the altar was reckoned as a part of the altar 
itself. 1 Its one cubit of width on the north and west 
sides were counted as being within the limits of, and 
formed part of, the 50 cubits square of which, according 
to Josephus,the Herodian altar platform consisted (item 
70) . The writers of Middoth, however, forgetfully say 
that the ' foundation extended all along the northern 
and western sides, but was shortened a cubit on the 
south and on the east ' (Middoth in. 1). They evidently 
regretted that the symmetry of the masonry should not 
have been completed by an additional cubit of stone- 
work on these two sides. Such a structural ideal is 
testimony at once to the sincerity and general correct- 
ness of their ideas, but it is nothing else. They evi- 
dently wrote when the Temple was no more. A sentence 
in the Talmud tells us that the great altar was lime- 
washed every week, limestone being plentiful in 

Ascending the three stages of which the Temple 
steps consisted, one stood on a great platform before 
the outer veil that screened the entrance into the 
porch. 2 According to Josephus, there were two com- 
plete and separate sets of curtains to this principal 
door of the Temple. In the War he tells of the ' Baby- 
lonian curtain, embroidered with blue and fine linen 
(white) and scarlet and purple ' (item 49) : which 
' purple veils of the sanctuary,' he afterwards says, 
were ' transferred to the royal palace in Rome ' {War 
vii. 5 § 7). In the Antiquities, he adds that, as in the 

1 Comp. The Second Temple in Jerusalem, p. 41. 

2 This entrance was not of a uniform breadth. The statement of Josephus 
in War (item 47) can be reconciled with that in Against Apion (item 46) 
only by having the walls bevelled, thus harmonising with the windows, 
which were ' broad within and narrow without ' in each of the Temples 
(1 Kings vi. 4). 


Tabernacle, there was, in each of the Temples, ' a linen 
veil drawn over the entrances, which could be drawn 
this way or that, by cords and rings, so that when the 
weather was inclined to snow it might be drawn close 
and afford a covering to the veil of divers colours ' 
(Ant. iii. 6 § 4 ; cp. xv. 11 § 3). 

If we imagine ourselves as passing beyond these 
veils and standing within the fronaos, we should be in 
a lofty hall (item 48) whose floor measurements were 
11 cubits in width (item 17), and in length a measure 
determined by its open entrance of 20 cubits (item 
46). These 20 cubits were the width of the holy 
chambers within. The entrance hall could be neither 
narrower nor wider than were they, because its walls 
were required to be built up to form the lofty tower 
promised by Herod. As, however — it was a favourite 
comparison of the Jews — the Temple was like a lion, 
narrow behind and broad in front, this simile was 
founded upon reality, we have to admit the evidence 
of items 26 and 38, that the ' shoulders ' of the house 
projected 15 cubits on each side beyond the main 
building. These 15 cubits are given on the Plan, on the 
north, to a small room in which were kept the knives 
and other instruments used in slaughtering (Middoth 
iv. 7) : and on the south to a corresponding store-room 
which does not find mention in any authority. The 
Temple lamps may have been kept here. 

Between these two store-roomsandthe entrance hall, or 
fironaos, were spaces where the Temple treasuries stood. 
These strong-rooms were of a very limited size, as may 
be seen on the Plan, and their contents were of great 
though fluctuating value. At the time of the Temple's 
fall, but before it happened, the keeper of these rooms 


was a priest named Phineas, who, with another named 
Joshua, purchased their life and freedom by delivering 
to Titus the following, ' from the wall of the holy 
house ' : — 

' Two golden candlesticks ; a golden table or tables ; 
a number of golden bowls and drinking cups : 
together with many clerical vestments ; much 
purple and scarlet woollen yarn for veils ; great 
deal of cassia, cinnamon, and other spice for 
making incense ' (War vi. 8 § 3). 

Nothing is said of the fate of the golden vine which 
overhung the front of the Temple oratory (items 
50-8). A figure of a previous vine had been given to 
Pompey by Aristobulus as a bribe. Josephus quotes 
Strabo as saying that he saw this vine in the Temple of 
Jupiter, at Rome, where it was valued at 500 talents 
(Ant. xiv. 3 § 1). Its place was taken by another, 
provided by public donations, of separate leaves, 
berries, or tendrils (Middothiii. 8). This vine it was — 
the collection of nearly one hundred years — beneath 
which the words were spoken, ' I am the true Vine ' 
(John xv. 1). 

It was probably the endeavour to save this trophy 
from destruction that in part prompted the frantic but 
futile efforts of Titus to prevent the burning of the 
Temple (War vi. 4 § 6). 


THE TEMPLE OR NAOS (continued) 

WHEN it is realized that the precincts of the 
Jewish Temples were originally the chief 
though not sole slaughtering-place of the nation 
(Deut. xii. 15), and that such, with modifications, 
they remained during the whole of the theocracy, 
a feeling of repulsion and disgust insensibly creeps 
over us. We are apt to identify them with the; 
butchers' shambles of to-day, and to feel thankful that 
we are no longer called upon to take part in such 
worship. Gratitude, however evoked, is a beautiful 
thing, but there are some considerations that may tend 
to mitigate at once the disgust and the thankfulness 
of the modern humanitarian. In the first place, all the 
arrangements for the slaughter of animals were such 
as have never been surpassed, if equalled, in any time 
or place. A plentiful supply of running water was 
considered to be of the first importance. This was 
secured in the face of enormous local difficulties, as 
the site of Jerusalem is one of the most arid places in 
the world where a famous city has been built. The 
sources and means of its supply are given elsewhere. 
Here we may assume that a great aqueduct reached 
the platform of the Temple from the west. This was 



carried on the old wall that crossed the Tyropcean 
Valley at Wilson's Arch, the pipes conveying it en- 
abling the water to reach a bath-room that stood over 
the little porch inside the Water Gate (gate No. 3). 
The Rabbis say the water was conveyed to this point 
' by means of a conduit which came from the fountain 
Etham ' (Middoth v. 3, note). This bath-room was 
some 10 or 12 feet above the level of the paved floor 
on which the altar stood. There was thus no difficulty 
in directing a stream of water into each of the two 
subways that ran beneath the Temple foundation, or 
platform. One of these streams, namely that to the 
north, reached the base of the altar, while that on the 
south supplied the laver with its contents. Both 
streams disappeared into a sewer, the opening into 
which was covered by a marble slab — probably with 
slits in it for the entrance of the water — in which a 
lifting ring was fixed 1 (Middoth iii. 3). The other end 
of this sewer has been discovered, at a level of 2347 
feet, 2 near the rock which underlies Solomon's Stables. 
This outlet was formerly called the Single Gate., but it 
is now known, from examination, to have been the 
blood passage from the altar, and may be seen figured 
in Warren's plan of Mount Moriah opposite page 876 
in Murray's Illustrated Bible Dictionary. 

A curious confirmation of this piece of recovered 
topography is to be found in the Rabbinical com- 
mentary on Middoth iii. 2, that the mixture of water 
and blood which flowed from the altar to the Kidron 

1 This could not have been used as a manhole for the purposes of clean- 
ing the pit under the Altar, as is suggested in Middoth iii. 3, because the 
slab was one cubit, or less than IJ inches, square. 

2 This is nearly 100 feet below the level of the ground around the 
Sakhrah, which is given as 2440 feet above the level of the Mediterranean. 


Valley was bought by gardeners with which to manure 
their soil. 

This abundance of water, running in conduits on 
and above the level of the court where animals were 
slaughtered in sacrifice, was the unfailing means of its 
cleanliness and daily purification. 

Another element in mitigation of the natural horror 
felt at the sight of flowing blood was the fact that only 
lambs and such-like small cattle were slaughtered 
within the Enclosure walls, and that, of their blood, care 
was taken that not one drop should fall upon the marble 
pavement of the court. To effect this iron rings were 
fastened to staples in the ground, which rings were 
horse-shoe shaped, so that the neck of the beast being 
introduced into the half circle, every drop of the flowing 
blood being caught in a golden bowl was conveyed to 
the altar, where it was emptied into the current of 
water — a few drops having first been sprinkled on the 
altar side. 

Other arrangements, all evincing the same careful 
planning, were made for the orderly and cleanly carry- 
ing out of the sacrificial ritual. These items need not 
be elaborated. Their mention may be sufficient, it 
being understood that all are drawn from authentic 
sources of knowledge. They comprised : — 

' 1. Marble tables, upon which the skinning was done. 

2. Pillars with cedar wood tops, for cutting up the 

3. Hooks, in three rows, for suspending the limbs. 

4. An open chamber, or shed, for washing the offal. 

5. A salt room. 

6. A storage room for skins, which were afterwards 
sold ' (Middoth iii. 5 and v. 3). 


Connected with this portion of the Temple activities 
was a special wicket-gate by which all the refuse from 
the scene of sacrifice, as well as the ashes from the great 
altar, were carried out. It lay conveniently near, and 
was called the Gate of Casting Forth (gate No. n). 
It is the Shallecheth of i Chronicles xxvi. 16. 

In each of the three Temples the same law of observ- 
ance as to ' the place of the ashes, beside the altar on 
the east part ' (Lev. i. 16), was maintained, and in each 
of them was a gate corresponding to this one on the 
plan of the Herodian Temple. It is unlikely that the 
name or use should have been changed, though one of 
its earlier uses, as the gate for the entry of the High 
Priest, was discontinued when the Beth Moked was 
built as the common entrance and ante-room of 

Of three chambers which stood in the angle to the 
north of the Temple proper, one was known as the 
Chamber Parvah. It was that in which the wet skins 
were salted down for future use or sale. Over this 
room was another, used as a bath-room, similar to that 
over the gate porch at No. 3 gate, and similarly supplied 
with water. Here the High Priest immersed his body 
five separate times on the great Day of Atonement, and 
whenever he changed his garments. Access to it was 
by a stairway in the adjoining shed or chamber. 

Here also stood the Beth Moked or House of Stoves. 
This is one of the most interesting, because one of the 
most human, portions of the Temple annexes. Its 
main position we know to a nicety, as it was built 
around one of the three gates in the north wall, which 
were placed at equal distances from one another (Ant. 
xv. 11 § 6). Its number on the Plan is 4. 


This wide thoroughfare into the Temple, for the ac- 
commodation of priests only, was flanked on either side 
by small chambers, the presence of which required that 
doors or small gates should be built in the outer walls 
of the Beth Moked — not the Temple Enclosure wall — 
one to the south and one to the north. Of these, one 
opened upon the Court of the Priests beside the Temple, 
and the other upon the Chel or terrace that surrounded 
the whole enclosure. The former had a small wicket 
by which the priests went in to sweep the court. The 
fact that Titus did not choose the Beth Moked as one 
of the points of his attack for the battering-rams to play 
upon shows that this building must have been one of 
considerable strength and solidity. It had a vaulted 

The safety of the Temple being secured at this point 
by its great brazen gate, we have to note the existence 
of four closets below the arched roof of the Beth Moked, 
which are described as opening like small bed-chambers 
upon a dining apartment, or triclinium (Middoth i. 6). 

The uses to which these little rooms were put are 
known to us. Of those in the consecrated ground of 
the Temple court, one was called the Lamb-room, 
because there, for several days before being offered, 
the lambs that formed the daily morning and evening 
burnt-sacrifice were kept under observation. The 
other was named ' the room of those that prepared the 
[twelve loaves of] shewbread,' presented every Sabbath. 

These sacrificial offerings of both kinds, being in the 
eye of the law ' most holy,' fittingly had their place 
in the more honourable portion of the Beth Moked, 
namely that within the wall of the Tr Enclosure. 

Of the two rooms without the great gate, one was 


used as a store-room for the stones of the great altar 
that Antiochus Epiphanes had profaned ; the evidence 
of the Mishna upon this point being confirmed by the 
illustrative remarks of the First Book of Maccabees 
(chap, ii., verse 25 ; v. 44). 

The other of the two outer rooms (i.e. the one in the 
north-west corner) has a certain topographical interest, 
as it was used as the entrance to the Bath House. The 
route taken by any priest who for ceremonial reasons 
required its use is thus described : ' He went out [of 
the Temple] and had to go by the gallery that went 
under the Chel, and lights were burning on either side, 
till he came to the Bath House ' (Middoth i. § 9). 

The north-west chamber of Beth Moked is further 
stated to have been the entrance where ' they went 
down to the Bath House ' (Middoth i. § 6). This was 
its only use, and from this we may gather that here was 
the entrance, by steps, into the underground gallery 
that led to the Bath House (S.W.P., vol. i., p. 218). 

Hardly any uncertainty exists as to Sir Charles 
Warren's identification of tank No. 3 with the gallery 
that led to the Bath House ; or that the two side 
chambers to its west were the Bath House itself and the 
drying-room attached to it (Tamid, chap. i.). 

It will thus be seen that when circumstances allow 
of the removal of the walls which have been built in 
these tanks and of the further exploration of the 
underground passage or tank, its southern termination 
will fix the point where the stairs led down to the 
gallery, and will determine the site of the north-west 
chamber of the Beth Moked — and so of the whole 
Temple . 

Till that time comes all that can be done is con- 


jecturally to draw a continuation of the gallery to the 
point at which it leads toward the Temple in its relation 
to the present Plan. This has been done, with results 
that will speak for themselves — it being understood 
that the key to the entire system of Herod's Temple is 
here taken to be the Sakhrah Rock, to the configura- 
tion and position of which everything else has been 
made to conform. 

There are nowhere any indications of the size of the 
Beth Moked. We are told that it was ' a great house,' 
and was surrounded with stone divans on which the 
senior priests rested (Middoth 1 § 8). These divans 
could not have run round the four bays, for obvious 
reasons of preoccupation, and must therefore have 
flanked on either side the through passage-way. Here 
likewise would be placed the stove or stoves of char- 
coal-burning fires, around which the priests, young and 
old, and the Levites gathered. The Levites were not 
allowed to pass over the threshold which led into the 
Temple, for when the elder priest, whose duty it was 
to lock the Temple doors and gates, went in on this 
duty he closed the great centre gates of the Beth Moked 
from the inside, and the Levites had to sleep without. 

In the uncertainty as to the area covered by the 
Beth Moked it has been placed on the Plan as if it 
were of the same size as the six halls whose dimensions 
are known to us. These were squares of 40 cubits each, 
with an internal measurement of 30 cubits, or 36 feet. 

Besides the uniformity required by the laws of 
Hebrew art in having these seven halls of the same 
size, there are further recommendations in favour of 
this having been so. The arrangement, indicated 
above, will give to each of the four side chambers of the 


Beth Moked an average interior area of 9 by 11 cubits, 1 
with a great hall running between them of 12 feet in 
breadth and 36 feet in length. This last was the Beth 
Moked proper — divided by its great gate into two parts. 

The gate nearest to the Beth Moked, numbered 5, 
has a special interest for the historian and the archae- 
ologist, as it is the one at which the Romans partially 
succeeded in their attack on the Temple Enclosure. 
Their battering-rams having failed in many days to 
make any impression on the 8-cubit walls on their 
western side, the soldiers undermined the foundations 
of one of the northern gates and removed some of its 
outer stones, but the gate was upheld by the inner 
stones (War vi. 4 § 1). Such is the testimony of an 
eyewitness, whose training and sympathies as a Jewish 
priest added keenness to his vision as to each step by 
which the resistance of his countrymen was overcome 
in their defence of the Temple. He goes on to describe, 
with sympathetic minuteness, the progress of the 
assault, and in doing so gives unconscious evidence in 
favour of the Temple Plan as here conceived. 

' Despairing of all attempts,' he tells us, to force an 
entrance here by means of battering-rams and crow- 
bars, ' the workmen brought up ladders to the porti- 
coes.' Above and about these porticoes the battle 
raged furiously — the attack being ultimately repelled. 
Nowhere but at gate No. 5 was there an external 
portico or porticoes to any entrance to the Enclosure. 
Here was that slaugh r-house of the Temple where the 
larger beasts were killed. As in the second Temple, 8 

1 On the Plan the chamuers without the wall are 12 x 9 c, and those 
within the wall are 10 x 9 c. in superficies. 

a Comp. The Second Temple in Jerusalem, 1908, pp. 310-11. 


so here, a large covered shed stood outside the Gate 
of Living Offerings, beneath the roof of which the 
larger animals were slaughtered. It was at this point 
that a partial breach was made by Titus, to be followed 
by the lighting of fires which burned the gates and so 
gave admission to the conquerors. In this way alone 
was the priestly party vanquished, and Josephus 
notes, with lingering regret, the melting of the silver 
plates with which the gates were covered, the silver 
lying about in heaps amid the debris. 

In the paragraph in which he mentions this waste, 
allusion is made to those small gate-houses or porticoes 
which, as in the removed Temple, stood within four of 
the principal gates of the Enclosure — Nos. 3, 5, 6, 12. 
Three of these were outer gates, and from the wood of 
the gates themselves the fire spread till the inner small 
porticoes were caught. The sanctuary itself was not 
on fire, and the burning of Solomon's Portico and of 
those forming the outer Temple is recorded elsewhere. 
So that in War vi. 4 § 2 we have Josephus' only mention 
of these small but elegant additions to several of the 
Temple gates. His remark about them is that in 
twenty-four hours the soldiers were not able to do more 
than partially burn these small porticoes, as the fire 
did not reach them until their outer gates were con- 
sumed. These ' Porches of the Gate ' were a structural 
continuation of those in the second Temple, mentioned 
in Ezekiel xl. 8, but of twice the size. (Cp. The Second 
Temple in Jerusalem, pp. 305-6, 366, items 9, 10.) The 
one of them at No. 3 gate is mentioned in Matthew 
xxvi. 71 as being the place where Peter took refuge in 
order that the light falling on his face from the charcoal 
fire should not lead to his recognition. 


The Great Altar. — This was the actual centre of all 
Jewish worship, a fact to which Jesus referred when 
He said : ' If thou art offering thy gift at the altar, and 
there remembereth that thy brother hath aught 
against thee ; leave there thy gift before the altar, and 
go thy way ; first be reconciled to thy brother,, and 
then come and offer thy gift ' (Matt. v. 23, 24). 

The size of the altar, together with its relation to the 
Temple to which it belonged is given in items 70-84, 
and shows that it was a structure with an enormous 
platform of 60 feet square, lying within the boundary 
of the Naos. 

Upon this platform were built several square stages 
of diminishing sizes, like the Ziggurats of the Baby- 
lonians. These stages numbered five, which with the 
platform below and the actual altar above made seven. 
This was the number in use in Babylonia. 1 

This conformity to idolatrous architecture was, 
however, balanced by two structural particulars that 
marked the whole edifice of the altar as an appanage 
of the Naos, within which it stood. One of these was 
the making of the platform a square of 50 cubits, as 
50 cubits was the breadth of the platform steps before 
the Temple. Another and a more striking coincidence 
was. the making the first stage above the platform a 
square of 32 cubits, as 32 cubits was the external Width 
of the holy chambers that were behind the screen of 
the porch. These chambers had the immemorial width 
of 20 cubits interior measurement. To this must be 
added the thickness of their walls on either side, which 
added 12 cubits. From this 32 cubits measure of the 

1 See reconstruction Plan of the Birs-Nimroud in The Tabernacle, 
1906, p. 228. 


base as a datum, the stages rose a cubit less on every 
side, until 20 cubits was reached, which was the outside 
measure of the true altar, as of the cube forming the 
Holy of Holies. This consisted of two parts : to the 
hearthstone was given a depth of a single cubit, and to 
the altar itself, as of old, a depth, or height, of 3 cubits. 1 
In the middle of these three ordinary cubits (3f ft.) 
rested on ledges a brass grating. Below this grating 
the fires burned, and above it the burnt -offerings were 
consumed to smoke. 2 Hence may have been the fre- 
quent allusions in the Psalms to smoke as being the 
emblem of the wicked : ' Like smoke shall they consume 
away ' ; ' As smoke is driven away, so drive them away.' 
The underlying idea here evidently is that the peni- 
tent's guilt was transferred to his sacrifice, and dis- 
appeared as its smoke disappeared. With the 
impenitent it was not so. They themselves were to 
disappear as did the smoke of the true sacrifice. 

1 Three cubits was the unalterable height of every Jewish altar. For 
that of Moses see The Tabernacle, p. 179 ; for that of Solomon see 
Solomon's Temple, p. 62 ; for that of Zerubbabel see The Second Temple, 
pp. 46, 367. Where they differed was in the substructions which sup- 
ported them, which were constantly raised. 

2 The archaic names were — the hearthstone, Ariel; the actual altar, 
ffarel ; while the space for the reception of the sacrificial meats was 
known as 'the bosom ' (Ezek, xliii. 13-17). 

THE TEMPLE OR NAOS {continued) 


THE innermost chamber, or debir, was the promised 
dwelling-place of Jehovah, and therefore the Naos 
proper, from which all its associate buildings derived 
their sacredness. Into this sacred spot no one entered 
— the High Priest excepted, who on one day in each 
year offered propitiatory blood there — until Pompey 
the Great. In 63 B.C. he entered the Holy of Holies, 
together with the members of his staff, but removed 
nothing of its contents. No ark of the covenant was 
there nor any visible glory, but only ' two thousand 
talents of sacred money.' A cynic might be tempted 
to draw moral inferences from this — we will not do so 
(Ant. xiv. 4 § 4 ; War i. 7 § 6). 

A few months later Crassus — one of the triumvirate 
that then governed the Empire — carried off the two 
thousand talents and also all the hidden store of gold 
in the Temple. The storage of these treasures in the 
very Holy of Holies, on which point Josephus is 
explicit, shows that the old fear and dread of entering 
the dark adytum of Israel's God no longer existed. 
Its air-space was an unlighted cube of 24 feet everyway, 
and was entered by a doorway closed by a heavy 
curtain. This curtain it was which was torn 'from the 


THE 'HEKAL' 321 

top to the bottom ' at the moment of the sacred death 
(Matt, xxvii. 51). 

To the east of this holiest place of all was a chamber 
consisting of two cubes each of 24 feet. This was the 
holy place, or Hekal, and, as the writer of Hebrews 
points out, was of lesser dignity than the other. ' The 
priests went continually into the first Tabernacle . . . 
but into the second the High Priest alone ' (Heb. ix. 
6, 7). Here stood the golden candlestick, always 
lighted. Two such are specified by Josephus (War 
vi. 8 § 3), which were, perhaps, all the Temple pos- 
sessed. From the bas-relief representation of the arch 
of Titus we know that there was also a golden table of 
small proportions — on which the shewbread was placed 
— and certain bowls of gold, with silver trumpets. 
The idea of reverence for this outer chamber, too, had 
so far declined that it had now become the common 
storehouse for spices and dyed yarn for the making of 
incense and the veils. 

A further indication of lapse in the severity of the 
old r6gime is given in the fact that the High Priest no 
longer, as in the ancient days, always offered the 
incense on the golden altar that stood within this 
chamber (Exod. xxx. 8) . This was now done by a priest 
chosen by lot each day, and no priest might have this 
honour more than once in his ministry (Tamid v., vi.). 
This throws light upon the providence of Zacharias' 
choice, in Luke i. 8 ff ., where the casting of the ' lot ' 
is mentioned. 

Both these chambers were lined with wood and gilded 
throughout, except in the small spaces behind the 
doors (items 39-42), which were not seen when the 


leaves were thrown back (Middoth iv. i). Their 
decorations were far inferior to those of the earlier 
Temples, the interiors of which were carved in low 
relief. There had been in this respect a gradual decline 
in artistic reverence from the time of Solomon. The 
interior of his Temple was most elaborately carved and 
gold-plated. That of Zerubbabel was carved indeed, 
but much less so than its predecessor. That of Herod 
had no carving, but was gilded only. 

An attempt was indeed made to give architectural 
dignity to the building, but it was an attempt 
prompted by a desire to win admiration and not to 
express humility and love. This was carried out by 
adding to the external height of the central Naos. 
Hitherto the Naos had stood on the ground floor, its 
squat appearance being hidden behind a lofty tower 
or porch. To alter the proportions of the two holy 
chambers was an act of impiety from which the priests 
shrank. An interior height of 20 cubits was an in- 
violable figure. It did not, however, seem that any 
objection could be had to building an aliyah, or upper 
story, to the rooms, so that their exterior height should 
be doubled, while they themselves retained their 
traditional size. This accordingly was done, and 
Josephus, who was familiar with this fact, makes the 
mistake of supposing that Solomon's Temple had 
similar upper rooms (Ant. viii. 3 § 2). It is, however, 
possible that his words were written to cover and excuse 
the action of the builders of Herod's Temple in making 
this addition. Here no doubt as to the fact can exist, 
as is shown by the series of measurements given in 
Appendix I. The earlier of these, taken from Middoth, 
gives its three dimensions — height (items 1-14), 


length (items 15-24), and breadth (items 25-38) — but 
the first of these being outside measures does not give 
the interior height of the holy chambers, though then- 
length and width are intended in the other two. Their 
height is given in item 61 on the joint authority of 
Josephus and Middoth : while the joint height of the 
chamber and the aliyah air spaces is said to be 40 
cubits {War v. 5 § 5). 

The evidence for an aliyah is to be gathered from a 
general consideration of the whole specification. In 
one particular a discrepancy seems to exist between 
Josephus and Middoth as to one of these elevations 
— but ' seems ' only. 

His language in War v. 5 § 5 is obscure, and may be 
understood in one of two senses, but the meaning is 
fixed in Middoth iv. 5, as is shown in the later pages 
of this chapter. 

No doubt, therefore, can remain as to Josephus' 
60 cubits being the external height of the two sacred 
chambers, with that of their gabled roof (items 2-7 
with note, and 59-64). 

The duplication of the height of the walls of the holy 
chambers did not carry with it relief from the obligation 
of putting the lowest series of priests' rooms in the 
basement or foundation, where they were used as 
refectories for the consumption of the most holy things. 
This had been done in each of the preceding Temples, 
and, though inconvenient, was now thought to be 
compulsory. Tradition and precedent were too strong 
to be overcome. These rooms could not be built with 
interiors of less than 6 feet high, or 5 cubits, which 
with the cubit allowed, as heretofore, for their stone 
roof, fixes the height of the foundation platform at 6 


cubits, or <]\ feet. This is a matter of some importance 
to determine, as the height of the foundation in the 
porch was but 5 cubits, and it would be necessary to 
have the lowest tier of side chambers of the same 
vertical measure now as before. For this practical 
reason the old order was retained and the precedent 
of former times followed (items 2 and 43), there being 
no priestly chambers beside the porch. 

Above the lowest tier of priests' rooms were two other 
tiers. Nowhere is there given in figures the height of 
these upper tiers of rooms. Items 30, 34, 43 to 45 give 
their width. Their length may be calculated from that 
of the core around which they were built ; their height 
is matter of structural calculation. It may be arrived 
at by a consultation of the vertical measures of the 
Temple as given in Middoth (items 1 to 14). The 
100 cubits of which its height consisted was divided 
. into two equal portions, though a little uncertainty 
exists as to a single cubit of each of the fifties. Below, 
this uncertainty arises from not knowing whether to 
include the sixth cubit of the foundation, or not to do 
so. Above, it arises from the fact of not knowing 
whether or not to include the combing or set of spikes 
on the top of the tower, which was a cubit high. We 
shall hardly be wrong if we take the division of the 100 
to have been a perfect one, and allocate 50 cubits as 
the height from the ground to the top of the side 
chambers and galleries, and 50 others as the height 
thence to top of Temple porch. 

The acceptance of this set of figures carries with it 
the corollary that each of the upper tiers of priests' 
rooms was 20 cubits in height, 1 24 feet. Such is the 

1 Thus made up— stylobate 6, chambers zo, ceiling and floor 2, 
chambers 20, roof 2, total 50— which is one less than that of the Mishna. 


total figure for both tiers of item 3 in the specification, 
but this means that the Rabbis, in giving 5 cubits to 
the roofage, lumped together the floor and ceiling that 
was between the tiers and the roof above them. 
Separated they would read : — 

Carved and gilded beams of priests' rooms, 
middle tier . . . . . . 1 c. 

Upper rafters and floor of same . . 1 c. 

Total . . . 2 c. 

Roof. Upper beams of top tier . . . 1 c. 
Roof battens of same . . . 1 c. 
Cement plaster of same . . . 1 c. 

Total, as specified in items 4 to 7 . 5 c. 

The roofs of these side chambers, with that of their 
attendant galleries, was, of course, a flat surface with a 
slight incline to carry off the rainfall. Between that one 
of them which lay to the north of the holy chambers 
and that one which lay to their south rose the gabled 
roof of the chambers themselves. It had been a prin- 
ciple of the resting-place of Jehovah from the days of 
the Wilderness life that the tent-like construction above 
His throne should be at an angle of ninety degrees. 
This peculiarity of the Bedaween tent was not repro- 
duced in the last of the Temples, and an obtuse-angled 
roof in its sloping sides rose for 10 cubits, or 12 feet, 
above the level of the flat roof on either of its sides 
{War v. 5 § 2 ; cp. items 59-64). It marks the de- 
clining sense of reverence for Jehovah's name in the 
builders of Herod's day that they did not retain this 


projecting angle, though they placed it out of sight, 
behind the porch, where it protected from sun and 
rain the dark adytum of the Holy of Holies and the 
ever-lighted chamber, where the golden candelabra 
with its seven lamps continually burned. 

While we have this dual form of architecture before 
us — -the slope of the Arab tent and flat roof of the 
Eastern house — it may be convenient to accompany 
the Rabbis of Middoth in an imaginary journey which 
they say (iv. 5) might have been made by one who 
travelled from the north-east outside corner of the 
Temple till he should arrive in the very Holy of Holies. 
Entering the building at the wicket there — which was 
one of the five openings specified in Middoth iv. 3, and 
shown in the Plan — the visitor traversed a long sub- 
terranean gallery which ran under the platform and 
was used for drainage purposes (item 28). In this 
gallery was a long flight of stone steps which led, 
through a trap-door, to the flat roof of the priests' 
rooms. Progress was now easy, first along the western 
end of the Temple, and then eastward, still along the 
flat, until the visitor arrived at a door in the sloping 
roof, which door ' opened to the south.' Entering this 
door, the visitor would find himself facing one of the 
attics which was over the two spare rooms of the aliyah 
story. Near the door was a ladder, descending which 
the floor of the aliyah was reached. Here was a low 
railing, which showed the division between one holy 
chamber and the other. A trap-door in the floor gave 
unusual admission to the Holy of Holies. This was 
used solely by an attendant priest for sweeping the 
chamber. The value of the paragraph, of which this 
is a modern paraphrase, lies in the fact that it may be 


taken to prove that the Naos proper of Herod's Temple 
had a gabled roof, and that it was surrounded by 
rooms and galleries that had flat roofs. 

The priestly rooms numbered thirty-eight (items 
43 - 5)- Of these, fifteen were placed, in three stories, 
on either side of the Naos. These thirty chambers had 
a total length of 78 feet on the north and south sides, 
the interior walls against which they were built being 
67 cubits long, or 8o| feet (items 19-22). They were 
divided from one another by curtains only, with 
passages out of one into another, the entrance to each 
set of rooms being from gates standing behind the 
treasuries of the Pronaos (War v. 5 § 5 and Middoth 
iv- § 3)- Of the thirty-eight, twenty-four were long 
enough to hold divans for three sleepers, and fourteen 
for two sleepers, giving to each one of a hundred 
sleepers six feet of room. Eight of the rooms stood to 
the west of the Temple. Neither of the earlier Temples 
had accommodation here, and their builders would 
have been appalled at the idea of placing their fellow- 
men in such close proximity to the Chariot of the 
Shechinah (1 Chron. xxviii. 18). In Herodian times 
this manifestation of the Divine presence was a mere 
tradition, and the claims of utility triumphed. Accord- 
ingly rooms were built which could accommodate 100 
persons, if there were no upper bunks, and if the two 
upper rooms to the west were of the smaller size. 

Ezekiel had instituted sets of galleries on either side 
of the Naos, to be used as beats for the Temple police. 
These are shown in an illustration in the volume on 
The Second Temple, p. 353. They were of the uniform 
width of 3 feet, and had lattice windows from which 


complete surveys of the whole neighbourhood were had. 
These galleries were reproduced in the Herodian 
building, of the same size as those in Ezekiel's specifica- 
tion (items 27, 28, 36, 37) , and served the same purpose 
as that for which he had designed them. One of the 
four lattices on the north side of the Sanctuary, 1 
through which the priests' eyes had often looked, has 
the sad association for the three worlds of Judaism, 
Moslemism, and Christianity that there the fire began 
which consumed the Temple. Let Josephus tell the 
story of his nation's humiliation : — 

' One of the soldiers, without staying for any orders, 
and without any horror at so great a crime — 
being possessed by a certain weird fury — 
snatched a brand out of the wood that was on 
fire [i.e. at a neighbouring gate] and being lifted 
up by another soldier, set fire to a golden [gilded] 
window through which there was a passage to 
the rooms round the Sanctuary on the north 
side. . . . The flame had not yet reached the 
inner parts of the Temple, but was consuming 
the rooms round the Sanctuary . . . when a 
soldier put fire under the hinges of the gate in 
the dark [i.e. the gate between the porch and 
the holy place, as there was no other interior 
gate], and the flame burst out from within. . . . 
Thus was the Temple burnt down ' (War vi. 
4 § 5, 6). 

1 The fact of the cubit being used as a whole measure wherever prac- 
ticable puts us into possession of this number. The exterior wall being 
79 c. in length gave five spaces each of 15 c, and to each window I c, 
broadening inwards. 



Josephus says that, at the fall of Jerusalem, the 
rebel leader, Simon, let himself down into a certain 
subterraneous cavern and went along it till he was 
able to emerge from it in the place where the Temple 
had formerly been (War vii. 2 § 1). The earliest 
modern and scientific survey of the Haram was made 
in 1833 by Catherwood. (It is given in Bartlett's 
Walks about Jerusalem, 2nd edition, pp. 148-65.) On 
one point Catherwood is an indispensable witness, for, 
since his time, the guardians of the Qubbet es Sakhrah 
have covered up a certain well, which therefore is no 
longer visible. In Catherwood's time this well was 
shown to him in a porch of the west door which stood 
about 40 feet from the west face of the Sakhrah. If 
Herod the Great had a private subway into the oratory 
of the Temple it would have opened into the Temple 
porch at about this distance from the Sakhrah. No 
reference to Catherwood's well is to be found in the 
Survey of Western Palestine nor in the writings of other 
archaeologists. Besides this west door there are three 
others at the other cardinal points of the Dome of the 
Rock, and all of them had, in Catherwood's time, 
enclosed porches of marble. 


JERUSALEM is situate in an arid district of hard 
limestone formation. It has only one natural 
spring in its neighbourhood, the 'ain Umm ed 
Deraj, the ■ Spring of Steps, also known as the Virgin's 
Fountain. It is the Gihon of i Kings i. 33, 38, 45, and 
the En-rogel of Joshua xv. 7 and xviii. 16. 

The existence and position of this permanent but 
intermittent source of water supply has had a dominant 
effect on the history of the city since its founding by 
the Jebusites and their predecessors. It determined 
the position of Millo, the ' stronghold ' of 1 Chronicles 
xi. 8, which was built to overlook and protect it. The 
' watercourse ' of 2 Samuel v. 8, by which Joab entered 
the city, was probably a secret water-passage from the 
spring westward, which brought its water to a reservoir 
within the walls. These ancient works are now well 
known. From this source water for Solomon's Temple 
would be at first obtained, by a series of steps cut in 
the rock, from the foot of which buckets were let down 
into the reservoir below, and drawn up by means of a 
wheel. It was a consequence of this primitive and 
defective supply that the many tanks in the Haram 
area were cut which are still found there. These were 
used for the storage of rain water, and it is com- 



puted that they are capable of holding ten million 

The next known stage in the evolution of a better 
water supply for the Temple was made in the reign of 
Hezekiah. In order to anticipate the Assyrian invasion 
of 713 B.C. he ' stopped the upper spring of the waters 
of Gihon, and brought them straight down on [i.e. to] 
the west side of the city of David ' (2 Chron. xxxii. 30). 
The rock-cut aqueduct referred to in this passage was 
discovered in 1880, which, together with the course of 
the secret passage above referred to, may be seen 
described in Sir Charles Warren's sketch map of Jeru- 
salem, opposite page 400 of Murray's Illustrated Bible 
Dictionary. The pool of Siloam, fed by this aqueduct, 
is one of the best known spots in Jerusalem. It was 
outside the ancient city wall, but the waters were made 
accessible to the inhabitants of the city by a rock-cut 
shaft and a long flight of stone steps that led down to 
it from the Temple hill. These ' stairs ' passed by the 
citadel of Millo on Ophel, and are referred to in the 
account of the murder of Joash, King of Judah, 
853-814 (2 Bangs xii. 20). They were also pressed by 
the feet of Ezra and his band of dedicators in 432 B.C. 
(Neh. xii. 37). Traces of them have been discovered 
of late running the whole length of Ophel from the 
Double Gate to a point near the pool of Siloam. By 
them, without doubt, water was carried for Temple 
uses by the Nethinim and Temple slaves for some 

In 2 Chronicles xxxii. we have two accounts of 
Hezekiah's action in the defence of Jerusalem by 
concealing its sources of water-supply. That in the 
latter part of the chapter, verse 30, has already been 


referred to as descriptive of the rock-cut subterranean 
connection between Gihon and the pool of Siloam. 1 
This is given as a postscript to the fuller and more 
regular account, and was evidently written later, when 
the work was completed and found to be successful. 
The earlier account (vv. 3, 4) states that, after consulta- 
tion with his princes, Hezekiah determined ' to stop 
the waters of the fountains which were without the 
city.' Among these, or rather as contributed to by 
them, was ' the brook that flowed through the midst 
of the land.' This is also named Gihon (gushing) in 
2 Chronicles xxxiii. 14, and is described as lying ' in 
the valley,' which led to the Fish Gate. In both these 
passages the Tyropcean Valley is meant. That this 
valley, now partially filled with debris and without 
other water than that of surface rainfall, was once the 
bed of a stream has been demonstrated in the Survey 
of Western Palestine. Underground shafts and ducts 
cut in the rock below the soil surface have been found 
at its base, and others along the narrow spur, of some 
200 yards wide, which, on the north-west of the city, 
at a mile from its walls, spreads out in the direction of 
Kuloniah and Lifta. A spring north of the Damascus 
Gate also once existed, as from it both Struthion and 
the Temple moat were supplied. This spring is now 
dry, though some of its ducts have been found, above 
the royal quarry, near the Damascus Gate. 

In addition to the making of dams for the storage 
of water, of which the Birket Mamitta and Hezekiah's 
Pool are examples, it was found necessary to bring 

1 The measure of twelve hundred cubits given in the Siloam inscription 
as the length of the cutting between these two points does not refer to the 
length of the tunnel, but is the overhead, or surface, distance between its 
two ends. 


water from a distance to supply the needs of the Temple. 
About y\ miles south of Jerusalem are three great 
reservoirs, with irregular bottoms, known as Solomon's 
Pools. They are built at the foot of a hillside in what 
is, perhaps, the most fertile valley in Southern Pales- 
tine. Its productiveness as compared with other parts 
of the district is testified to by its modern name Urtds, 
derived from the Roman Hortus, garden. Near these 
pools is the Ain Atan, the water from which they were 
meant to conserve. This wady is probably the scene 
of those works referred to in Ecclesiastes ii. 5, 6 : — 

' I made me gardens and parks, and I planted trees 
in them of all kinds of fruit. I made me pools 
of water, to water therefrom the forest where 
trees were reared.' 

At some time during the existence of the Hebrew 
monarchy, possibly in the reign of Solomon, it was 
determined to convey water from these pools to the 
Temple site in Jerusalem. The Hebrews, unlike the 
Romans, were ignorant of the law of hydrostatics that 
water in pipes will rise to its own level, and that it may 
thus be carried across ravines and valleys to any level 
slightly below that of its source. As a consequence, 
the aqueduct conveying the water from Etham 1 to 
Jerusalem by the law of natural gravitation on the 
ground surface is 25 miles in length. This supply is 
known as the lower water conduit, and a part of its 
winding course may be traced on any good map of the 
environs of the city. In Jerusalem the aqueduct was 

1 The note of Rabbi Obadiah on Middoth v. 3 is : ' There was a bath 
over the water gate [i.e. over its little porch. This was the third gate on 
the south, No. 3 on Plan], and a fountain of water was conveyed there by 
means of a conduit which came from the fountain Etham,' i.e. ain Atan 
(comp. 1 Chron. iv. 3 and Ant, viii. 7 § 3). 


carried over the Tyropcean Valley on the wall which 
stood above the great causeway to the west of the 
Temple. The accompanying Plan of Mount Moriah 
shows that at Wilson's Arch are two gates, with a short 
length of masonry between them. If this short length 
of masonry was that on which the first wall of the city 
rested, 1 as would appear by its having two gates, one 
of which led into the lower city and one did not do so, 
then we know where the aqueduct from Solomon's 
Pool entered the platform of the Temple area. From 
that point the water was conducted to the ground level 
on which the Temple stood. Here it was divided and 
entered in two streams beneath the foundations of the 
Temple, and flowed in the north and south sub-galleries 
which ran on each side of the Naos (items 28, 36) . 

From this point their probable course may be seen 
described on the Plan of the Temple — one stream 
supplying the needs of the altar and the other those 
of the laver. Both disappeared into a ' gully,' the 
position of which is given in Middoth iii. 3 as being at 
the south-west corner of the altar, and as consisting 
of a slab or marble a cubit square, with a lifting ring in 
its centre. In this movable slab we see an early 
example of the present-day custom of Southern Europe 
in which drains are fed from above by having slits cut 
in their covering heads, through which the water 
pours into the duct below. 

The exit of this drain was into the Kidron, through 
an opening in the south wall of the Haram area a little 

1 ' This wall . . . ended at the west portico of the Temple ' ( War 
v. 4 § 2). The late Sir Charles Wilson's note on this passage is : ' This 
section of the first wall ran, almost in a straight line, from the Jaffa Gate 
to the Temple Enclosure at Wilson's Arch.' The passage over this arch is 
now known as the Bab-es-Sihilth. 


to the west of the old Horse Gate, where its mouth has 
been found, below the substruction known as Solo- 
mon's Stables. Could this aqueduct be excavated for 
its whole length it would take us back to the opening 
near the altar where it began. 

In a.d. 26 Pontius Pilate was appointed Roman 
Procurator of Judaea by Tiberius, a post which he held 
for ten years. During this time he compelled the 
Temple authorities to spend the contents of one of 
their thirteen treasure chests, that marked ' Corban,' 
in making an aqueduct to convey a further supply of 
water from the springs in the Wddy el-'Arrub to Solo- 
mon's Pools near Bethlehem. The mob rose in protest 
against any use of the Temple money for this purpose, 
and many lives were lost in repressing the ensuing riot. 
The fact of a Roman governor taking such action is 
evidence that, in spite of all that had hitherto been 
done, the supply of water at the Temple was insufficient 
for its many needs (War ii. 9 § 4 ; Ant. xviii. 3 § 2). 1 

Other attempts to supply the needs of its Temple 
was made. One of these was from the springs at Ain 
Karim, which are five miles due west of the city. The 
fact that the mountains round about Jerusalem are 
in some cases 500 feet — as at Bethel and at Rdmet 
el-Khaffl, near Hebron — above the Temple platform, 
render such schemes feasible, and at 12 feet below the 
present site of the Jaffa Gate masonry has been found 
which was placed there for the conveyance of the 
precious fluid from Ain Karim. This is known as the 
higher conduit. 

1 The discrepancy in the distances given in these two authorities, of 
thirty miles and fifteen miles, is accounted for by the fact that in the 
former of them Josephus reckoned the whole distance from Jerusalem, and 
in the latter only that from the spring to the pools of Solomon. 


The rainfall at Jerusalem is slightly more than that 
in London, 1 and its residents at all times are dependent 
upon it for their chief water supply. This is collected 
from the roofs of the houses and is stored in private 
tanks and reservoirs. There is not now, and apparently 
never has been, any provision for supplying the city 
with water at the public expense, beyond the open 
storage of rain water in reservoirs, and all the schemes 
of canals detailed above were meant for the Temple 
alone. Here the arrangements for its reception and 
distribution were as perfect as elsewhere they were 
entirely wanting. 

Three outlets for the discharge of the Temple drains 
are known and are still visible. One of these has 
already been noticed as emptying itself into the 
Kidron below Solomon's Stables. The floor of this 
blood passage is 2347 feet above the sea-level, whereas 
the level of the Temple site is 2440 feet, or 93 feet 
higher. What gives this drain passage additional 
importance as to level is the fact that there are two 
other and similar outlets for water on the east side. 

One of these is a little to the south of the Golden 
Gate and 260 feet north of the south-east angle of the 
wall. The other lies further to the south and has its 
sill at the same level as the blood passage in the south 
wall. Both of these so-called postern gates were un- 
doubtedly built as the outlet of Temple drains, and 
their inland course, if known, would decide some 
problems with which we have to deal. In the absence 

1 The average rainfall in Jerusalem for thirty -two years is 25 "23 inches 
(Quarterly Statement of P.E.F. for January, 1894, p. 39). In 1907 it 
was 27 "215 inches, and in 1908 31*870 inches. In neither of these years 
did any rain fall in the months of May, June, July, August and Septem- 
ber, a fact which illustrates the biblical saying, ' the former and the latter 


of anything like certainty as to their route it may be 
pointed out that two such additional outlets are re- 
quired by the system of drainage given on the Plan : 
one to receive the refuse water from the slaughter-house 
on the north side of the Temple, and the other to 
receive and discharge the rain that fell within the 
peribolos of the Temple and found its way into the 
drain at the foot of the Soreg and out at gate No. 3 — 
from this fact known as the Water Gate (Middoih 
ii. 6). 



of the Temple.' Such was the opinion of a writer in 
the Edinburgh Review, expressed so long ago as January, 
1873. It is one which is in entire consonance with the 
architecture of these pages, and is indeed the master 
thesis upon which this series of books has been written. 

This being so, the relative importance of the subject 
demands that we should have before us as accurate a 
conception as print and diagrams will permit of the 
stone itself. 

At first, says Josephus (War v. 5 § 1), the plateau on 
the top of the hill on which the Temple was built was 
hardly sufficient for the sanctuary and altar, for all 
around it was steep and precipitous. His reference is 
to the site of the Solomonic structure, and the truth 
of his traditionary words has been amply confirmed 
and demonstrated by late archaeological examination. 
A contoured map of Jerusalem will show that the 
following, in round numbers, are the heights of the 
rock on which Jerusalem stands : — 

Below pool of Siloam . . 2000 ft.^ 

Kidron Valley, opposite Sakhrah 2200 ft. 

Tyropcean Valley at Robinson's I above 

Bridge .... 2300 ft. [sea-level. 

Temple plateau, average . . 2400 ft. 

Western Hill (The Southern) . 2500 ft./ 


Between the two valleys of the Kidron and the 
Tyropoean rose the hill of Zion. It was narrow and 
steep, for the valleys converged, and on the southern 
end of the Harara area are less than 300 yards apart. 
Between them ran a kind of hog's-back ridge, which 
was the site of the future Temples. Two processes 
were gradually adopted in order to render this narrow 
site available for such a series of structures as were to 
be built upon them. 1 One was to build up, from below, 
huge retaining walls which, on three of their sides, 
should keep back the earth poured in until ' the hill 
became a larger plain.' The other was to cut down the 
upper crest of the hill, so as to reduce its topmost level 
in furtherance of the general plan. Accordingly the 
whole ridge for 1600 feet — from the Birket Israil to the 
south wall — was, wherever necessary, scarped away 
to a level surface of about 2400 feet. This is now that 
flat surface of mezzeh on which both the Qubbet es- 
Sakhrah (2430 ft.) and the Mosque, el-Aksa (2420 ft.) 
stand, and in which many water tanks have been cut. 
It is, of course, impossible to say, except at one point, 
how many vertical feet of rock it was found necessary 
to remove in order to produce this result. If the ridge 
were a serrated one, the quantity would vary from 
point to point and from yard to yard. Were the 
information available it would be useless. What we 
are to be seized of is the fact that much labour has been 
spent on the Temple hill to reduce it to the condition 
in which it now is. Thousands of cubic feet of rock 
have been removed and millions of tons of earth-filling 

1 No difficulty was found in putting one Temple on the site of another, 
as the rock below them was not scarred into trenches, but only levelled, so 
as to form a bed for the foundation. This removed, another was laid on 
the same site. 


have been conveyed from without to bring it to its 
present level. That level is not a uniform one. There 
is a difference of 10 feet between the floors of its two 
main buildings, the figures for which have been given, 
while the sill of the Golden Gate is 40 feet lower still 
(2380 ft.). There are thus great inequalities in the 
surface of the ground south of the great rock scarp 
or wall which divided the Temple area from that 
of Antonia. These may have arisen in part from 
different parts of the last Temple having had different 
levels, and also from the fact that a great deal of 
building and levelling has been done there since a.d. 70. 

Amid these superficial inequalities — which are not 
very apparent in walking over the thirty-five acres of 
which the hill of Moriah consists — there is one spot, 
a part of the original woodland ridge of the hill, which 
remains unaltered by the vicissitudes of peace and war 
for an historical period of thirty centuries. It is the 
Sakhrah Stone (item 134). 

Its immovableness is shown by its size. With a 
length of 36 feet 4 inches and a width of 42 feet, 
attached, as it is, to the living rock below, it could 
never have been other than it now is. This is a point 
to bear in mind, as a stone that might have been 
handled would long ago have been shifted from its 
place. Religious bigots — and nowhere has bigotry 
shown itself more relentless than here — would cer- 
tainly have thrown this rock into the sea if that had 
been possible. Everything movable that stood on and 
around it has gone. The rock alone remains. Its 
history we will presently look at. Now we consider it 
as an object, and an object without historical parallel. 
Three faiths — Jewish, Christian, Moslem — have con- 




tended for its possession, and in doing so have shown 
their interest in it by acts of bitterest hostility towards 
each other and of supremest reverence towards it. 

It is a bare, rugged, unhewn piece of mezzeh, part of 
the upper of the two strata which form the Jerusalem 
plateau. It is hard and of a grey, in places of a reddish, 
colour, and has a dip of twelve degrees in a direction 
85 east of north. At its highest point it stands 4 feet 
9| inches above the marble pavement around it, and 
one foot at its lowest. Its slope, from the higher to the 
lower of these figures, is generally from the west down- 
ward to the east, so that the original ridge of Moriah, 
as represented here, was some little distance away 
from the western fall of the stone. 

The surface of the rock bears the marks of hard 
treatment and of long usage. Its western face is 
comparatively smooth and regular and shows, in many 
places, the marks of the chisel by which it was cut 
down to a vertical line. Most of the north side has also 
been scarified with chisels, while on its upper surface 
are stone parallel ridges which show the use of an 
iron tool. 

On the right side of the drawing by Mr. Simpson 
may be seen the perpendicular wall into which the 
Sakhrah has been cut on its western side. Its accom- 
panying sketch-plan will show that the line of the cut 
is not a straight one. Near the traditional hand- 
print is the rounded formation of what was once an 
obtuse angle in the line of cutting — which will merit 
attention later. Here only it may be said that the 
lines north and south of this blunt angle correspond 
with those of the east and west walls of the Haram area. 

There are two pieces of artificial handiwork on the 


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rock which cannot be passed over in the slightest 
description of it. One is a hollowed-out basin on its 
upper surface near the north end. To this basin there 
is a passage cut in the rock, evidently intended for the 
person officiating to approach the basin and cleanse it. 
This passage is u feet long and 2 feet wide, the rock 
being cut down perpendicularly on both sides and at 
the southern end of the passage. It leads to a broad 
recess or standing room within reach of the basin 
which it was intended to serve. 

Another peculiarity of the rock is that it covers a 
chamber into which access is afforded by a flight of 
steps. The aperture into this cave beneath the rock 
faces the south-east. Two cylindrical perforations 
exist, one in its roof and one in its floor. 

But the feature of the rock's outline is the fact 
that at the south-west corner a square recess has 
been cut away, 17 feet in width and 6 feet in depth. 
As a consequence of this alteration of its figure, the 
western line of the rock is 50I- feet long, though its 
total length, toward the centre, is 56 feet 4 inches. 
Here, again, we are met with the fact that the angle of 
the mechanical cut is a right angle, and, as such, its 
lines agree with those of the wall behind the Temple 
and not, as did the earlier Temples, with that which 
was built in front of it. 

The history of this sacred stone since the Christian 
era is one in which tradition plays a large part, but it 
is tradition based upon common sense and probability. 

The fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the 
Temple in a.d. 70 was followed by a revolt, under the 
High Priest Matthias, son of Theophilus, more bloody, 


if possible, than that. In a.d. 135 Hadrian suppressed 
this second rising of the Jews, whose last stand was 
made on Mount Bether (Bittir), to the south-west of 
the ruined capital. Subsequently to this, Jews were 
allowed to visit the site of their Temple only on the 
anniversary of its fall. On one day in the year they 
were accustomed to anoint with oil the ' pierced stone ' 
where their altar had stood, in imitation of Jacob's 
anointing of the rock at Bethel. (Cp. Bordeau Pilgrim, 
edit. 1887, p. 22.) 

When the Crusaders obtained possession of Jeru- 
salem, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, they at 
first honoured the rock by covering it with marble slabs 
and erecting an altar on it, but afterwards, looking 
upon the Jews as the betrayers and murderers of the 
Son of God, and upon the Mahommedans as deniers of 
His Divinity, they showed every possible indignity to 
that which they had formerly revered — covering the 
surface of the altar stone with filth and manure. On 
the first Saracenic conquest of Palestine, before the 
Crusades, the Moslems determined to honour the spot 
from which the early Christians had been driven, 
A.D. 668, by building over the rock the great dome 
which is one of the wonders of Eastern architecture. 
The fierce passions of men have thus conspired to 
preserve from forgetfulness the very place where 
David's altar was placed on the threshing-floor of 
Araunah the Jebusite (2 Sam. xxiv. 18). Within the 
cave beneath the rock Araunah and his four sons hid 
themselves 1 (1 Chron. xxi. 20). Above the cave was 

1 The cave is irregular in form and is equal in size to a room ten feet 
every way. Its average height is seven feet. Through the hole in the 
roof the ashes of the altar may have been thrown down to cool before 
removal— which took place by night — to the great ash heaps still standing 


the threshing-floor itself, no difficulty arising from the 
fact that the surface of the rock is not flat. The differ- 
ence of between three and four feet in its levels is not 
one that would trouble a Jebusite farmer. All thresh- 
ing-floors in the East are placed on some high exposed 
position, where the wind will blow away the chaff. 
The site being chosen, the floor is then made by being 
built up with rubble to a rough level and a surface of 
sun-baked earth put upon it. Great care is spent in 
the preparation of this top surface, as upon its goodness 
depends the value of the threshing-floor. Of such a 
floor the Sakhrah Stone was originally the basis. 

This ponderous mass of rock having been always 
in situ, it may be of interest to see how it was dealt 
with in each of the three Temple constructions of which 
it formed an adjunct. Certain it is that of those three 
years of preparation which Solomon spent before laying 
the first stone of his foundation platform, a part was 
given to the preparation and adjustment of the site 
upon which the future Temple was to stand. Evidence 
has already been adduced in this series 1 showing that 
the outside length of Solomon's Temple, including the 
thickness of its outer Enclosure walls, was ioo cubits, 120 
feet, and that to obtain a level of this size on the western 
slope of Moriah, 30 feet, vertical, of hollow had to be 
filled up. The stones used in the doing of this are 
probably still in position. Even to obtain this narrow 
foothold for the Temple it was requisite to place it as 

near the tombs of the Kings. Samples of these ashes have been analysed 
and found to contain charred teeth and other animal remains. Such a 
disposal of the refuse of the altar fires and sacrifices is in harmony with 
the instruction of Leviticus i. 16. 

1 Solomon's Temple, 2nd Edit., 1908, pp. 230 note, 342 notes I and 2. 



near to the altar as was possible. In this necessity — a 
necessity caused by the steep fall of Moriah toward the 
Tyropcean Valley— we see the reasonforthe paring away 
of the Sakhrah Stone on its western side. Thirty-five 
cubits, 42 feet, of its width were left untouched, and on 
this dimension the great altar-base of 20 cubits, built 
by Solomon, stood. That the width of the stone in 
Solomon's Temple, and in that of Ezekiel, was 42 feet 
is shown in drawings which we here reproduce. It 
is probable that the whole of the 42 feet which lay 
between the steps of the Temple porch and the wall of 
the Enclosure were by Solomon covered with rubble 
work to a smooth surface of 6 feet high, on which his 
altar-base was built. To the south of this square of 
35 cubits some 14 feet of -the Sakhrah projected, and 
would be used to support that slope of approach which 
was a necessity of all altars built in accordance with 
Mosaic ritual (Exod. xx. 26). 

The specifications given by the prophet Ezekiel are 
more full than those of the time of Solomon, and we 
are thus able, while retaining the 56 by 42 feet dimen- 
sions, to add something to our knowledge of the uses 
to which the stone was put. As before, it was, accord- 
ing to law, levelled up to a uniform height of 6 feet, 
with natural stones from Beth-haccherem (Jer. vi. 1 ; 
Middoth iii. 4), and upon this broad foundation 
Zerubbabel's altar - base was reared. Around the 
foundation a depressed water drain 18 inches in width 
ran on three of its sides ; which, being taken as an 
integral portion of the altar, gave it the same width as 
the holy chambers. In addition to this conduit for the 
passage of the water mingled with blood which flowed 
at the foot of the altar was another drain the position 


of which is given in Ezekiel xl. 12. 1 The waters of this 
duct must have been lifted by hand into an upper 
sluice, inasmuch as they flowed down the centre of the 
slope to the level below, unless we suppose this altar 
drain to have been made for carrying off the rainfall 
of the altar. These drains at the foot of the altar were 
used to carry off the sacrificial blood of all burnt- 
offerings as well as that of all thank-offerings. In the 
last Temple was a different arrangement for ' the upper 
bloods.' They were passed into one or other of ' two 
apertures, like nostrils,' which led down through the 
foundation base and took the uncoagulated blood into 
the canal or drain that ran on two sides of the altar plat- 
form, where it met the running water (Middoth iii. 1,2). 

It is not until we pass away from the second Temple 
and come to the still fuller accounts of the Herodian 
Temple that we can account for some of the principal 
marks and cuttings of the Sakhrah. Its abrupt ter- 
mination on the west can belong only to the Solomonic 
building. The square recess at the south-western 
angle of the stone, as also the passage-way and basin 
opposite to it on the north, may belong to Herodian 
times, though the Mishna thinks otherwise. We take 
into consideration the latter of these elements first. 
The basin has been described on a former page. Its 
use remains to be suggested. 

All readers of the Book of Psalms are familiar with 
the couplet in the Hallel song of thanksgiving — 

' Bind the sacrifice with cords, 
Even unto the horns of the altar ' (Ps. cxviii. 27) — 

1 The whole construction of the altar is developed in The Second 
Temple in Jerusalem, pp. 367-8 and notes. On p. 376 the length of the 
Temple is shown to be the same as that of Solomon, 108 feet, with an 
enclosure wall behind, and without steps before it. 


but not all recognize that this is poetry and a mere 
rhetorical figure of exuberant joy. Victims never were 
bound, and could not be bound, to the, horns of the 
altar, if only for the reason that the ' horns ' were 
placed on a high level of the base (Middoth iii. i). 
They were square cylinders of wood, covered with 
brass plates, with a mouth at the larger end for the 
reception of libations of sacrificial wine, which were 
poured into it (Exod. xxvii. 2 and xxx. 2). 

The Rabbis say that each of the cylinders was a 
cubit square at the top and was a cubit high — Exodus 
says they should be two cubits. Also (Exod. xxvii. 2) 
that there was a ' horn ' at each of the four corners of 
the altar. These stood on the level of the ' circuit ' on 
which the priests walked, and were projecting bodies 
standing up from the body of the altar base (item 82) . 

Dr. John Lightfoot gives the material connection 
between these four projecting apertures and the basin 
cut in the Sakhrah Rock, in the sense of the Tal- 
mudists — 

' They built the altar solid, like a pillar, but one put, 
in the midst of the building, a piece of wood or 
stone below every one of the horns, till he had 
finished the building. Then he took away those 
pieces, and the horns were left hollow and with- 
out a foundation.' 1 

1 The Prospect of the Temple, Chap, xxxiv. , where the references are 
given. The same construction is thus summarised by Rabbi Obadiah, 
the Commentator on Middoth : — ' When the drink offerings were poured 
upon the top of the altar, at the south-western corner, they ran down 
from the altar upon the pavement and flowed into the cistern which was 
dug there. ... It was not in the altar in the days of Solomon, but the 
children of the captivity added to the masonry of the altar until this 
cistern was taken into the middle of the altar and the holes at the top of 
the altar opened opposite to it.' By the 'cistern' we understand the 
' basin ' of the text. 


' The holes through which the drink-offerings ran 
down were called Shitin ' (Zemchim vi. 61). 

These interior ducts were used to convey small 
libations of wine, i.e. a few drops from each cup, which 
were poured, or rather spilt, by the priests into the 
orifice of the homs, whence they found their way into 
the basin, and so were dried up or evaporated by the 
heat of the altar fires above. This is what is meant by 
Josephus when he tells us that ' they pour the wine 
round the altar ' in a paragraph which confirms the 
schedule of quantities of corn, wine, and oil which were 
to be offered with the presentation of every living 
victim for sacrifice (Exod. xxii. 29 ; Num. xxviii., and 
Ant. iii. 9 § 4). 

It is not until we are possessed of topographical 
facts such as these that we can appreciate the prophet's 
forecast that the time would come when his people 
should drink wine, and they shall make a (gurgling) 
noise as through wine ; ' and they shall be filled like 
bowls — like the corners of the altar' (Zech. ix. 15). 
The analogy of Amos vi. 6 leads us to suppose that the 
meaning here is that the people's ' bowls ' containing 
wine should be as full as were those of the altar — thus 
pointing to seasons of great plenty for both people and 

Every Biblical archaeologist is familiar with the fact 
that the quadrilateral of the Temple hill is not a 
rectangular figure. The south-western angle of its 
enclosing walls is a right angle, but the south-eastern 
angle is an obtuse one of 92 30'. A glance at the 
Palestine survey plan of Mount Moriah makes this 


apparent to the eye, and shows that the east and west 
walls are not parallel. 

When Solomon and the men of his time determined 
on the aspect of the Temple they doubtless obtained 
the best astronomical opinion of the day so as to make 
the Temple face due east. 1 This opinion governed 
both the original cutting away of the Sakhrah Rock on 
its western side and also gave the line on which the 
east wall of the Haram area was built. Josephus is 
clear as to the fact that a section of the east wall, 
namely that portion of it which stood opposite to the 
first Temple, was first built, and was built in harmony 
with the general plan of Temple construction, inasmuch 
as a portico was built on an artificial mound within 
the wall. ' On all its other sides the Sanctuary was 
unprotected ' at the time, the Temple standing without 
the perimeter of the city wall, which ran behind it 
(War v. 5 § i). This is how it comes to be that the two 
walls are not parallel, the theological consideration as 
to the aspect of the first Temple over-riding the archi- 
tectural one of having the two great walls parallel and 
pointing the same way. A reference to the frontispiece 
of the volume on The Second Temple in Jerusalem will 
show that Solomon's precedent for the placing of his 
Temple was followed by the builders of Ezekiel's 
Temple plan. 

For some reason, unknown to us, the men who, under 
Greek influence, erected the Herodian structure, 
determined to abandon the old precedent of the 

1 At what time of the year is unknown. Gilbert Scott, in his Essay 
on Church Architecture, has shown that every early church was oriented 
to the sun, so that its axis should point to the rising sun on the day dedi- 
cated to its patron saint. Mr. Penrose has done the same service for 
many of the Greek temples. Who will render a similar service to the 


orientation of the Temple, and to place theirs in line 
with the old city wall, having its side walls at right 
angles to it. This accordingly was done, and is so 
shown in the Plan giving the site of Herod's Temple. 
The direct structural opposition which the Temple 
facade had hitherto shown to the worship of the rising 
sun, by compelling its attendants to turn their backs 
full upon it when engaged in the service of Jehovah, 1 
was thus modified, and to this extent abandoned. 

As a corollary to this decision it became necessary 
to alter the western line of the Sakhrah Stone, which 
was then cut away at its southern end to the required 
angle, the line being continued, by added masonry, to 
its northern extremity. The great recess in its south- 
west angle was cut at the same time by the builders 
of Herod's time, the direction of its short line of six feet 
putting us into possession of the fact that it was 
parallel to the city wall behind it. 

The Pharisaic spirit of the time when this was done 
demanded that the altar slope, on account of its lesser 
sanctity, should not touch the altar itself. 

The actual length of the slope itself was 25 cubits 
(item 101 and note), and by immemorial custom its 
width was one half that of its length, or 15 feet, reduced 
from 15 cubits (see note 8, p. 369). There was thus 
space in the 17 feet of width cut away in the recess 
for the head of the ascent to be built in it and yet not 
to touch the Sakhrah at any point. 

These structural arrangements involving as they did 
real departure from the historical spirit of reverence 
due to Jehovah, together with much ostensible zeal for 

1 See this idea amplified in a paragraph on the orientation of the 
entrances to Ezekiel's Temple, The Second Temple in Jerusalem, 
PP- 3S4-5- 
2 A 


Him, must have given great offence to the nobler 
spirits of the day. They saw in the different alinement 
of the Temples the fulfilment of an ancient prophetic 
proverb — 

' The stone which the builders rejected 
Is become the head of the corner.' 

(Ps. cxviii. 22.) 

Jesus cited these words as applicable to Himself 
(Matt. xxi. 42), in which application He is followed by 
?eter and John (Acts iv. 11) and one of the Epistles 
(1 Pet . ii. 7) . This double significance is of itself enough 
to show, in the highest order of thought, that Jesus the 
Christ is at once Temple and Altar, Priest and Sacrifice. 
He is the Divine Reality : they were His divinely 
ordered and temporary prefigurements. 

It is this aspect of the Temple which gives,and must 
ever give, the subject of this volume a perennial and 
abiding interest to the Christian Church. To the 
attention of such of its members as desire to pierce 
through the outer husk of material truth to the fruitful 
kernel within, these pages are dedicated in the hope 
that they may render-some little service to that cause 
to the advancement of which, in many lands, many 
men have given their lives. 


















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^q*ni! .g ii 



With Extracts from the Commentary of Rabbi Obadiah 
of Bartbnora 

(Reprinted by kind permission of the Palestine Exploration Fund) 


i. The priests kept watch in the Sanctuary in three places : 
in the house of Abtinas, in the house Nitsus, and in the 
house Moked. 1 And the Levites in twenty-one places : 
five at five gates of the mountain of the house, four at its 
four corners within, five at five gates of the court, four at 
its four corners without, and one in the chamber of the 
offering, and one in the chamber of the veil, and one behind 
the house of atonement. 

2. The man 2 of the mountain of the house went round 
from watch to watch, with torches flaming before him, and 
to every guard who was not standing, the man of the moun- 
tain of the house said, ' peace be upon thee : ' if it was 
evident that he slept, he beat him with his staff, and he 
had authority to set fire to his cloak. And they said, 
' what is the voice in the court ? ' ' The voice of a Levite 
being beaten and his garments burned, because he slept 
on his watch.' Rabbi Eliezer, the son of Jacob, said, 
' once they found my mother's brother sleeping, and they 
set fire to his cloak.' 

3. There were five gates to the mountain of the. house : 

1 The house of Abtinas and the house Nitsus were two upper rooms 
built beside gates of the court. The house Moked was not an upper 
room, but a vaulted building, arqualta [ = arcuatus], erected upon the 

2 The prefect over all the guards. 



the two gates of Huldah on the south served for going in 
and going out ; Kipunus on the west served for going in 
and going out ; Tadi on the north was not used at all ; 
upon the eastern gate Shushan the palace was pourtrayed, 3 
and by it the high priest who burned the heifer and the 
heifer and all his assistants went out to the Mount of 

4. There were seven gates in the court. Three on the 
north, and three on the south, and one on the east. Those 
on the south were — the gate of kindling, second to it the 
gate of the first born, third, the water gate. That on the 
east was the gate Nicanor, and there were two chambers to 
it, one on the right hand and one on the left. One was the 
chamber of Phinchas, the keeper of the vestments, 4 and one 
the chamber of the pancake maker. 

5. And those on the north were the gate Nitsus, which was 
a kind of exhedra with an upper room built over it, that the 
priests might keep watch above and the Levites below, and 
it had a door into the rampart (chel) ; second to it, the gate 
of the offering, 5 third, the house Moked. 6 

6. There were four chambers in the house Moked, like 
small rooms 7 opening into a hall (\h\>"\'Q = triclinium), 
two in the holy and two in the profane 8 part, and pointed 
pieces of wood 9 distinguished between the holy and the 

3 When they came up from the Captivity, the King of Persia commanded 
them to make a representation of Shushan the palace upon the gates of 
the house, in order that they might fear their king, and they depicted it on 
the eastern gate. 

4 He was the prefect whose function it was to dress the priests at the 
time of the service, and to undress them after the service, and take care of 
the priestly garments. 

There they brought in the most holy sacrifices, which were slaughtered 
on the north. 

6 It was called Beth Hammoked (locus foci) because there were fires 
burning continually in it by which the priests, who went barefoot, might 
warm themselves. It was a large room, and in its four corners were four 
small chambers. 

7 Like the small chambers which open into the large room, or tri- 
clinium, of kings. 

8 Because the house Moked was built part within the court which was 
hallowed, and part in the profane place. 

9 Ends of beams projecting from the wall to the place which was holy, 
in order to show which was holy and which was profane, and that they 
might eat the holy things in the holy part. 


profane. And what were their uses ? The south-western 
was the chamber of (the lambs) for the offering. 10 The 
south-eastern was the chamber (of the maker) of the shew- 
bread. 11 In the north-eastern the Asmoneans preserved 
the stones of the altar which the Greek kings had defiled. 12 
In the north-western they went down to the bathing room. 13 

7. There were two gates to the house Moked ; one opened 
to the chel u and one opened to the court. Rabbi Judah 
said there was a wicket to the gate which opened to the 
court by which they entered to examine the court. 

8. The house Moked was a vaulted room, large and sur- 
rounded by stone benches, 15 and the elders of the house of 
the fathers 16 slept there with the keys of the court in their 
charge [literally, in their hands] and the young priests, 17 
each with his pillow on the ground. 18 

9. And a place was there, a cubit by a cubit, and a slab 
of marble and a ring was fixed in it, and a chain, on which 
the keys were hung. When the time for locking arrived he 

10 Because there the lambs were examined for the continual sacrifices, 
as it is taught in the Mishna, ' there may not be fewer than six lambs in 
the chambers of the lambs ' (Erachin ii, 5). 

11 The family of Garmu made the shewbread there. 

12 They offered idolatrous sacrifices upon it. 

13 By this chamber a priest to whom an uncleanness happened descended 
and went by the hollow way which was under [or behind, 1TV£>, according 
to some copies] the sanctuary to the bathing room, where was a fire by 
which the priest warmed himself after bathing and going up and wiping 
himself. It was called the house Moked, and opened to the large house 
Moked [i. e. the great central hall]. 

14 The northern gate of the house Moked opened to the chel, and that 
on the south opened to the court. 

15 All round seats (or benches) of hewn stone were sunk in the wall, 
and projected from the wall into the interior of the house Moked on the 
floor, and over them were other shorter stones, which also projected from 
the wall and formed a sort of steps, one above the other. [A similar 
arrangement to this of the Beth Moked probably obtained in the priestly 
chambers on either side of the Naos, as they were twenty cubits in height 
within. (W.S.C,)] 

16 The watch was divided into seven houses of fathers, corresponding to 
the days of the week, each one doing duty on its day, and the elders of 
the house of the fathers for that day slept there upon those stone benches. 

17 Young men whose beards were beginning to grow ; and they were 
the watchers. 

18 Because they were not permitted to sleep there upon beds but upon 
the ground, as the watchers in the courts of kings do. 


raised the slab by the ring and took the keys from the 
chain. And the priest locked from inside and the Levite 
slept outside. Having finished locking he returned the 
keys to the chain and the slab to its place, put his cloak 
upon it, and slept. If an uncleanness happened to one of 
them he went out and departed by the winding way, 19 
which ran under the Sanctuary (birah). And the lamps 
were burning on each side, until he reached the bathing 
room. Rabbi Eliezer, the son of Jacob, said, he went 
forth by the winding way, which went under the chel and 
passed out by Tadi. 20 


i. The mountain of the house was five hundred cubits by 
five hundred cubits. 1 Its greatest space was on the south, 
the second on the east, 2 the third on the north, the smallest 
on the west. That space which had the largest measure- 
ment was most used. 

2. All who entered the mountain of the house entered 
on the right hand and went round and out on the left 
hand, 3 except one to whom something had happened, who 
went round to the left. ' And what aileth thee that thou 

19 In the rP'ITOi cavern, or cavernous passage, which went under the 
whole Sanctuary (birah), for a cavernous passage was under the Sanctuary, 
and all the Sanctuary was called birah, as it is written (i Chron. xxix. 19), 
'the birah (palace, A.V. ) for which I have made provision.' And 
because he was unclean (t'V) ?1Q) he did not go by way of the court, but 
by way of the caverns, it being a statute with us that the caverns were not 

20 He passed out by the winding way which went under the chel, and 
did not return to the house Moked, because he was tibool youm (had 
bathed, but would not be clean until the sun went down). 

1 Surrounded on all sides by a wall. 

2 That is to say, the distance from the wall of the mountain of the 
house to the wall of the court on the south side exceeded the distance 
which was between them on the eastern side ; and the distance which was 
between them on the eastern side exceeded the distance which was between 
them on the northern side, and the northern space was greater than the 

3 As if those entering by the Huldah gates, which were on the right, 
went round by way of the gate Tadi. 


goest to the left ? ' ' Because I am in mourning,' ' May He 
who dwelleth in this house comfort thee.' ' Because I am 
excommunicate,' ' May He who dwelleth in this house put 
into their hearts that they may restore thee.' The words 
of Rabbi Meyer. Rabbi Jose said to him, ' thou hast made 
them appear as if they had transgressed against him in 
judgment, but what they said was, ' may He who dwelleth 
in this house put into thy heart that thou listen to the 
words of thy fellows and they shall restore thee.' 

3. Inside of this 4 was the soreg 5 [or reticulated wall], ten 
hand-breadths high ; and thirteen breaches were there 
which the Greek kings made. The Jews built them up 
again and ordained thirteen obeisances opposite them. 6 
Within this 7 was the chel [or rampart], ten cubits wide, and 
twelve steps were there, 8 the height of each step 9 half a 
cubit and the tread 10 half a cubit. All the steps which 
were there were half a cubit high and the tread half a 
cubit, except those of the porch. 11 All the gateways and 
gates which were there were twenty cubits high and ten 
cubits broad, except that of the porch. 12 All the gateways 
which were there had doors except that of the porch. All 
the gates that were there had lintels, except the gate Tadi, 
where two stones inclined one upon another. All the gates 
which were there were covered with gold [literally, were 
changed to be of gold], except the doors of the gate Nicanor, 

* Inside the mountain of the house. 

6 A partition (or wall) made full of holes, like a bedstead netted with 

6 When one came opposite either of the breaches, he bowed himself, 
and acknowledged with thankfulness the destruction of the Greek 

' Within this reticulated wall was a vacant space of ten cubits, which 
was called chel (rampart) {i.e. without the reticulated wall. (W.S.C.)]. 

8 In order to go up thence into the court of the women. 

9 Each step was half a cubit higher than the adjoining one, and also 
the first step was half a cubit high from the floor. 

10 The breadth of the step, which was the place for the tread of the 
feet, half a cubit. 

11 Except the steps which were between the porch and the altar, which 
were not all thus, as is taught in Chapter III. 

12 It is taught in the following chapter that the height of the porch was 
forty cubits, and its breadth twenty. 


because a miracle happened to them, and some say because 
their brass glittered like gold. 13 

4. All the walls which were there were high, except the 
eastern wall, in order that the priest who burned the cow, 
standing on the top of the Mount of Olives, might see 
straight through the doorway of the Temple at the time of 
sprinkling the blood. 

5. The court of the women was one hundred and thirty- 
five cubits 11 long by one hundred and thirty-five cubits 
broad. 15 There were four chambers at its four corners, 
each of forty cubits, and they were not roofed. And thus 
they will be in the future, as it is said (Ezek. xlvi. 21), 
' then he brought me forth into the outer court, and caused 
me to pass by the four corners of the court ; and, behold, 
in every corner of the court there was a court.' In the four 
corners of the court there were courts smoking (niTiDp 
' joined,' A.v.), and the reason why [it is said] ' smoking ' 
is that they were not roofed. 16 And what were their uses ? 
The south-eastern was the chamber of the Nazirites, 
because there the Nazirites cooked their peace-offerings 
and shaved their hair and cast it under the pot. The north- 
eastern was the chamber of wood, for there the priests who 
had blemishes picked the wood, and every piece in which 
was found a worm was unlawful for the top of the altar. 
The north-western was the chamber of the lepers. The 
south-western, Rabbi Eliezer, the son of Jacob, said, ' I 
forget what was its use.' Aba Saul said, ' there they 
put wine and oil.' It was called the chamber of the house 
of oil. The court of the women was plane at first, and they 
surrounded it with a balcony, 17 so that the women could 
see from above and the men from below, in order that they 

13 Like gilded things (ntSTltD), whose appearance is like gold, so 
that it was not necessary to make them of gold. 

14 From east to west. 15 From north to south. 

10 Compare Genesis xix. 28, 'the smoke of the country went up;' it 
is the same as to say J^y ni^JJID. causing the smoke to go up, because 
there was no roof to them. 

17 A balcony. They surrounded the court of the women with a kind 
of gallery, so that the women stood above upon the gallery, and the men 
below, to see, at the rejoicings of the beth hashshavavah at the Feast of 
Tabernacles, in order that they might not be tempted to levity. 


might not be mixed. And fifteen steps 18 went up from 
within it to the court of Israel, corresponding to the fifteen 
songs of degrees in the Psalms, because upon them the 
Levites stood and chanted. They were not long and 
straight, 19 but curved like the half of a round threshing- 

6. And there were chambers under the court of Israel 
which opened into the court of the women, and there the 
Levites placed their harps and psalteries, and cymbals, 
and all instruments of song. The court of Israel was one 
hundred and thirty-five cubits long by eleven broad, and 
also the court of the priests was one hundred and thirty- 
five cubits long by eleven broad, and pointed pieces of 
wood 20 divided between the court of Israel and the court 
of the priests. Rabbi Eliezer ben Jacob said ' a step a cubit 
high 21 was there,' and upon it the desk 22 was placed, and in 
it were three steps of half a cubit each, so that the court of 
the priests was two cubits and a half higher than the court 
of Israel. The whole court 23 was one hundred and eighty- 
seven cubits long, by one hundred and thirty- five broad. 24 
And thirteen obeisances were made there. Aba Jose ben 
Khanan said ' opposite the thirteen gates.' The southern 
gates near to the west were the upper gate, the gate of 
kindling, the gate of the first-born, and the water-gate. 
And why was it called the water-gate ? Because through 
it they brought in the pitcher of water for the drink- 
offering of the Feast of Tabernacles. Rabbi Eliezer ben 
Jacob said ' and through it the waters ran, and in the 

18 The height of the floor of the court of Israel above the court of the 
women. [For 'above' read 'below.' (W.S.C.)]. 

19 Not long and angular like ordinary steps, but round, like half of a 
round threshing-floor. 

20 The heads of beams projecting and sticking out from the wall to 
distinguish between the court of Israel and the court of the priests. 

21 In the court of Israel. Its length corresponded to the length of the 
whole court. 

22 The desk of the Levites was built upon it, and made like a kind of 
raised seat (atztaba). The height of the desk was a cubit and a half, and in 
it were three steps of half a cubit each, by which they went up to the desk. 

23 From the commencement of the court of Israel to the vacant space 
of eleven cubits which was behind the house of atonement. 

24 From north to south. 


future they will go out from under the threshold of the 
house.' And opposite to them on the north, near to the 
west, the gate of Jechoniah, the gate of the offering, the 
gate of the women, and the gate of song. And why was it 
called the gate of Jechoniah ? Because through it Jecho- 
niah passed out when he went into captivity. That on the 
east was the gate Nicanor. And it had two wickets, one 
on its right and one on its left. The two on the west had 
no name. 


i. The altar was thirty- two cubits by thirty- two cubits. 
It rose a cubit, and receded a cubit — this was the founda- 
tion ; it was now thirty by thirty. It rose five cubits and 
receded a cubit — this was the circuit ; it was now twenty- 
eight by twenty-eight. The place of the horns occupied a 
cubit on either side ; it was now twenty-six by twenty-six. 
The place for the feet of the priests to walk 1 was a cubit on 
either side ; it was now twenty-four by twenty-four — the 
place for the fire. Rabbi Jose said ' at first it was only 
twenty-eight cubits by twenty-eight.' It rose and receded 
according to this measure [i.e., in the above-mentioned 
manner], until the place for the fire was twenty by twenty. 
And when the children of the captivity came up, they 
added to it four cubits on the south and four cubits on the 
west, like a gamma ; as is said (Ezekiel xliii. 16), ' and the 
altar, twelve cubits long, by twelve broad, square.' It 
might appear that it was only twelve by twelve, but when 
it says ' in the four squares thereof,' it is taught that it 
measured from the middle twelve cubits to every side. 
And a red line encircled it in the middle, 2 to distinguish 
between the upper bloods 3 and the lower bloods. 4 And the 

1 In order that it might not be necessary for the priests to go between 
the horns, they left a vacant space of a cubit inside the horns, upon which 
the feet of the priests might walk. 

8 A red line was made round the altar at its middle, five cubits from 
the base, that is one cubit below the top of the circuit. 

3 The blood of a sin-offering of a beast, and a burnt-offering of a fowl, 
which was sprinkled above the red line. 

4 The blood of all other offerings, which was sprinkled below the red line. 


foundation extended all along the northern and western 
sides, and took up on the south one cubit, and on the east 
one cubit. 5 

2. And at the south-western corner 6 there were two 
apertures like two narrow nostrils, by which the blood 
poured upon the western and southern foundations, might 
run down, 7 and become mixed together in the canal, and 
pass out into the Valley of Kedron. 

3. Below, in the pavement of that corner, 8 there was a 
place measuring a cubit by a cubit, and a slab of marble in 
which a ring was fixed, by which they went down to the 
foundation and cleansed it. And there was an incline 9 to 
the south of the altar, thirty-two 10 cubits long, by sixteen 
broad, and in it on the west was a cavity 11 in which were 
put the defiled sin-offerings of birds. 

4. Both the stones of the incline and the stones of the 
altar were from the valley Beth Kerem. 12 They dug below 
the virgin earth, 13 and brought thence perfect stones upon 
which iron had not been lifted up. For iron defiles by its 
touch, and by a scratch, it defiles everything. 14 If one of 
the stones became scratched, it was unlawful, and all the 

6 [Edersheim's translation of this sentence is, ' And the base ran round 
all the north and all the west side, but was shortened a cubit on the south 
and on the east. '— -Jewish Social Life, p. 303. (W.S.C.)]. 

6 Below in the cubit of the foundation were two apertures. 

7 Through those apertures and become mixed together in the canal for 
water which was in the Court, thence pass out into the Valley of Kedron. 
And the gardeners bought it from the Gizbarim [or treasurers of the 
Temple] to manure the soil therewith. 

8 The south-western. 

9 Like a sloping bridge. It was made on the south, and by it they 
ascended and descended from the altar, for they might not ascend by 
steps because it is written (Exod. xx. 26) ' thou shalt not go up by steps 
unto mine altar.' 

10 Its length was placed from south to north, and its breadth from east 
to west, sixteen cubits. 

11 Like a kind of hollow window, a cubit by a cubit. It was in the 
incline itself and placed on the western side. 112131, rabubahr, is the 
same as n313J, nabubah, as in the passage T\\Vlh 2133, ' hollow with 
boards' (Exod. xxvii. 8). 

13 From the valley of Beth Kerem they brought them. 

13 Soil in which they had never before dug. 

14 Any scratch defiled the stones, even though not done by iron. 


rest were lawful. They whitened them 15 twice in a year, 
once at the Passover, and once at the Feast of the Taber- 
nacles, and the Temple once at the Passover. Rabbi Judah 
said ' every Sabbath eve they whitened them with a cloth 
on account of the blood.' They did not plaster them with 
an iron trowel, lest it should touch and defile. For iron 
was created to shorten the days of man, and the altar was 
created to prolong the days of man : it may not be that 
what shortens be lifted up upon what prolongs. 

5. And there were rings to the north of the altar, 16 six 
rows of four each (though some say, four rows of six each), 
upon which they slaughtered the holy sacrifices. The place 
of the slaughterers was to the north of the altar, and in it 
eight small pillars 17 with square planks of cedar wood 18 
upon them, and iron hooks were fixed to them, 19 three 
rows to each pillar, 20 upon which they hung the beasts and 
skinned them upon the marble tables 21 which were between 
the pillars. 

6. The laver was between the porch and the altar, drawn 
towards the south. Between the porch and the altar were 
twenty-two cubits, and twelve steps were there, the height 
of each step half a cubit, and the tread a cubit ; a cubit, a 
cubit, and a landing three cubits ; and a cubit, a cubit, and 
a landing three cubits ; and the uppermost, a cubit, a cubit, 
and a landing four cubits. Rabbi Judah said, ' the upper- 
most a cubit, a cubit, and a landing five cubits. 1 

7. The doorway of the porch was forty cubits high, and 

15 They whitened them with lime twice a year. 

16 Johanan the high priest caused twenty-four rings, according to the 
twenty-four courses of the priesthood, to be made. They were fixed in 
the pavement, and made like a bow, into which they introduced the neck 
of the beast at the time of slaughtering, and fixed the end of the ring in 
the ground. And they were on the north of the altar because the most 
holy sacrifices were slaughtered on the north. 

" Low stone pillars. 

18 Square pieces of cedar wood were upon the pillars. 

19 A kind of hook (uncinus). They were fixed in those planks of cedar, 
and by them they suspended the beast. 

20 There were three rows of hooks one above another to each piece to 
suspend therefrom the large or small beasts. 

51 Upon these they washed the inwards, because the marble made the 
flesh cold and preserved it from putrefaction. 


twenty cubits broad. And five carved oak beams were 
above it, the lower one extended beyond the doorway a 
cubit on either side, the one above it extended beyond it 
a cubit on either side, so that the uppermost was thirty 
■cubits, and a row of stones was between every two beams. 
8. And beams of cedar were fixed from the wall of the 
temple to the wall of the porch, in order that it should not 
bulge. And golden chains were fixed in the roof of the 
porch, by which the young priests used to get up and see 
the crowns, as is said (Zech. vi. 14), ' and the crowns shall 
be to Helim, and to Tobijah, and to Jediaah, and to Hen 
the son of Zephaniah for a memorial in the Temple of the 
Lord.' A golden vine was placed at the doorway of the 
Temple, and supported upon poles, and whoever made a 
freewill offering 22 of a leaf, a berry or a branch, brought 
and hung it to this vine. Rabbi Eleazer, the son of Zadok, 
' it happened once that three hundred priests were employed 
in removing it.' 


1. The doorway of the Temple was twenty cubits high and 
ten broad, and it had four doors, two within and two with- 
out, 1 as is said (Ezek. xli. 23) ' the Temple and the Sanc- 
tuary had two doors.' The outer ones opened to the in- 

82 Of gold, for the Temple, and desired that the gold thus offered 
should itself be put upon the Temple so that it might all be covered with 
gold. Of that gold which was offered, there was made according to its 
value a berry, or a leaf, or a cluster, and hung upon the vine. 

1 Two within : in the thickness of the wall towards the inner side. 
Two without : in the thickness of the wall towards the outer side. The 
thickness of the wall of the Temple was six cubits, and at the end of the 
outer cubit of the thickness of the wall were the two outer doors, one on 
the right of the doorway, and one on the left, each of the doors being five 
cubits broad. When closed they touched one another and shut the door- 
way, the breadth of which was ten cubits ; and when opened towards the 
inside they covered five cubits of the thickness of the wall. And two 
other doors of the same size were fixed at the inner side of the thickness 
of the wall, and when opened covered five cubits on one side, and five 
cubits on the other side of the breadth of the wall of the Temple within ; 
and there the wall was not overlaid with gold like the rest of the house, 
because it was not seen. 


terior of the doorway to cover the thickness of the wall, 
and the inner ones opened into the interior of the house to 
cover the space behind the doors, for all the house was over- 
laid with gold, except behind the doors. Rabbi Judah said : 
' they were placed within the doorway, and were a sort of 
folding doors, 2 which turned back upon themselves ; these, 
two cubits and a half, and those, two cubits and a half, 
and the door-post was half a cubit broad on this side, and 
the doorpost half a cubit broad on that side,' as is said 
(Ezek. xl. 24) ' and the doors had two leaves apiece, two 
turning leaves, two leaves for the one door, and two leaves 
for the other door.' 

2. And there were two little doors 3 to the great gate, one 
on the north, and one on the south. No one ever entered 
by that on the south. And it is of this gate that Ezekiel 
explains as is said (Ezek. xliv. 2) ' then said the Lord 
unto me : This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, 
and no man shall enter in by it, because the Lord, the God 
of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.' 
He took the key and opened the little door and went into 
the chamber, 4 and from the chamber into the Temple. 

2 Each door was five cubits broad, formed of two boards, each two 
cubits and a half, joined together. And when the outer door was opened 
towards the inside one half of it was folded back upon the other half, and 
covered two cubits and a half of the thickness of the wall, and in like 
manner the inner door, when it was opened towards the outside, was also 
folded back and covered the remaining two cubits and a half of thickness 
of the wall. [The word which I have rendered ' folding doors ' is 
NIS'DIDVN, elstremeta. It appears to be from the Greek eKarpeQw, 
to turn back. In some copies, and in other passages, it occurs as 
ND'DlQi-mX and NtSlDIIDDS, V. Buxtorf, and Aruch. S. V. Rabbi 
Lipsitz's note on the passage is, ' It is meant to say that each door was 
made of two pieces connected together by joints.'] 

3 Two little doors, one on the right of the great gate of the Temple 
and one on its left, at some distance from the gate. Of that on the south 
it is written, ' it shall be shut, it shall not be opened,' in the Temple of 
the future, and certainly thus it was in the eternal house [the second 

4 This was that chamber which opened into the Temple, and from the 
chamber he entered into the Temple and went along the Temple as far as 
the great gate which was at the end of the thickness of the wall within 
and opened it. He then came to the second gate which was at the end of 
the thickness of the wall without, and stood within and opened it. 


Rabbi Judah said, ' he went into the thickness of the wall, 6 
until he found himself standing between the two gates, 
when he opened the outer one from within and the inner 
one from without.' 

3. And thirty-eight chambers 6 were there, fifteen on the 
north, fifteen on the south, and eight on the west. Those 
on the north, and those on the south, were five above five, 
and five above them ; and those on the west, three above 
three, and two above them. And there were three openings 
to each, one to the chamber on the right, and one to the 
chamber on the left, and one to the chamber above it. 
And at the north-eastern corner there were five openings ; 
one to the chamber on the right, and one to the chamber 
above it, and one to the gallery and one to the little door, 
and one to the Temple. 

4. The lower row of chambers was five cubits broad' 1 and 
the roof six : the middle six cubits and the roof seven, and 
the upper seven, as is . said (1 Kings vi. 6) ' the nether- 
most chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle 

6 Because he thought that he did not enter from the chamber into the 
Temple, but from the chamber went in the thickness of the wall of the 
Temple, until he found himself standing between the two gates, and 
opened the doors of the outer gate from within and the doors of the inner 
gate from without. 

6 Taim=lishkoth, chambers. 

7 On the outside of the wall of the gallery, which was the outer wall of 
the holy place (BHpn)> were chambers (D^U'V'). *•«. additional rooms 
(HISIDTITj) surrounding the house on three sides, west, north, and south ; 
and these chambers (D'WX*) were lower, second, and third. The lower 
chamber was five cubits broad, and the robad, T21"l, or pavement, that 
was above it, that is the roof of the lower chamber, which was the floor of 
the middle chamber, was six cubits broad, because the wall of the gallery 
became narrower as it ascended, and when it reached the pavement, 
which was above the lower chamber, it receded one cubit, and upon the 
projection thus formed were placed the rafters of the chamber, so that 
the middle chamber was broader by one cubit than the lower chamber, 
namely, by that cubit which the wall receded. And, again, when it 
reached the pavement which was above the middle chamber, which was the 
floor of the third, the wall became narrower and receded one cubit, so 
that the ends of the rafters could rest upon that cubit by which the wall of 
the middle chamber projected outwards [towards the interior of the 
chamber] beyond that of the upper chamber, and thus the upper chamber 
was one cubit broader than the middle, and two cubits broader than the 
lower chamber. 


was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits 

5. And a gallery 8 [or winding way] ascended from the 
north-eastern corner to the north-western corner, by 
which they went up to the roofs of the chambers. He went 
up by the gallery with his face to the west, and traversed 
the whole northern side until he reached the west ; having 
reached the west, he turned his face to the south, and 
traversed the whole western side until he reached the 
south ; having reached the south, he turned his face to 
the east, and went along on the south until he reached the 
door of the upper story, for the door of the upper story 
opened to the south. And at the door of the upper story 
were two beams of cedar, by which they went up to the 
roof of the upper story. And in the upper story pointed 
pieces of wood distinguished between the holy place and 
the most holy. And holes 9 opened in the upper story to 
the most holy place by which they let down the workmen 
in boxes, 10 in order that they might not feast their eyes 11 
upon the most holy place. 

6. The temple was a hundred cubits by a hundred, 12 by 
a height of a hundred. The solid foundation 13 six cubits, 
and its height forty ; a cubit the ornamental ceiling ; 14 
two cubits the place of dropping ; a cubit the rafters of the 
roof, and a cubit the plaster. 15 And the height of the 
upper story was forty cubits, and a cubit the ornamented 
ceiling ; two cubits the place of dropping, a cubit the 
rafters of the roof, and a cubit the plaster ; and three 

8 A kind of hollow way by which they went up to the roofs of the 
chambers. And because a person going up by it made a circuit in going 
up and again in going down, it was called H3DD, or winding way. 

9 Windows such as are made in the roofs of upper rooms. 

10 They lowered them in the inside of the boxes by means of a rope. 

11 By seeing the most holy place ; but might only do what was neces- 
sary, and go up again. 

12 A hundred long and a hundred broad. [A hundred high. (W.S.C.)]. 

13 Solid and closed masonry to form a foundation for the house, upon 
which they erected the walls [which were 40 c. in height. (W.S.C.)]. 

14 The lower rafter of the roof was one cubit thick, and because it was 
overlaid with gold and painted with beautiful pictures, it was called "1VD, 
/door, i.e. ornamented. 

15 The mud, and stones, and lime which were put over the planks. 

. MIDDOTH 385 

cubits the parapet and a cubit the scarecrow. 16 Rabbi 
Judah said, ' the scarecrow was not reckoned in the 
measurement, but the parapet was four cubits.' 

7. From east to west one hundred cubits. The wall of 
the porch 17 five, and the porch eleven ; the wall of the 
temple six, and its interior forty cubits ; the partition 18 
space a cubit, and twenty cubits the holy of holies ; the 
wall of the Temple six, 19 the chamber six, and the wall of 
the chamber five. From north to south seventy cubits. 
The wall of the gallery five, and the gallery three ; the 
wall of the chamber five, and the chamber six ; the wall 
of the Temple six, and its interior twenty cubits ; the wall 
of the Temple six, and the chamber six ; the wall of the 
chamber six, the place for the descent of the water three 
cubits, and the wall five cubits. The porch extended be- 
yond it fifteen cubits on the north, 20 and fifteen cubits on 
the south, and this was called the house of the slaughtering 
knives, 21 because there they kept the knives. The Temple 
was narrow behind and broad in front, and it resembled 
a lion, as it is said (Isa. xxix. 1), ' Woe to Ariel, the city 
where David dwelt.' As a lion is narrow behind and broad 
in front, so the Temple was narrow behind and broad in 

18 ITIB !"r?3. A sharp plate of iron, like a sword, the height of which 
was a cubit, was placed on the top of the parapet in order that the birds 

might not rest upon it, and hence it was called 3111? !"l?3, challch oreb, 
crow destroyers, because the crows were destroyed by its means, 

17 The thickness of the wall of the porch on the eastern side was five 
cubits and that of the wall of the Temple on the eastern side six cubits. 

18 The cavity (or internal space) of the Temple was forty cubits long 
from east to west. 

18 The wall which separated between the Temple and the holy of holies 
was called tirkisin, because it shut up the ark and tables of the law which 
were given at Sinai ; p^t3, trak, in the Aramaic tongue, means shut, as 
'?i 'p'lB, shut the door. Sin is Sinai. And the thickness of the wall 
was a cubit. 

50 The wall of the porch was five cubits thick, and the porch itself 
measured ten cubits on the north, and likewise on the south. 

21 Because of the knives which were deposited there it was called the 
place of slaughtering knives. In the Roman tongue, also, large knives 
are called chalpim [? scalpellum, scalper?]. 

2 C 



i. The whole court 1 was one hundred and eighty-seven 
cubits long 2 by one hundred and thirty- five broad. 3 From 
east to west one hundred and eighty-seven : the place for 
the tread of Israel 4 [the laity] eleven cubits ; the place for 
the tread of the priests 5 eleven cubits ; the altar thirty- 
two ; between the porch and the altar twenty-two cubits ; 
the Temple a hundred cubits ; and eleven cubits behind 
the house of atonement. 

2. From north to south one hundred and thirty-five. The 
incline and the altar sixty-two ; from the altar to the rings 
eight cubits ; the place of the rings twenty-four ; from the 
rings to the tables four ; from the tables to the pillars 
four ; from the pillars to the wall of the court eight cubits ; 
and the remainder between the incline and the wall, and 
the place of the pillars. 

3. There were six chambers in the court, three on the 
north, and three on the south. Those on the north were 
the chamber of salt, the chamber of Parvah, and the 
chamber of the washings. In the chamber of salt they 
put salt for the offering. In the chamber of Parvah they 
salted the sacred skins, and on its roof was the place of 
bathing for the High Priest on the day of atonement. 8 

1 The whole circuit of the court, within which circuit was built the 
house on its western side, the court and the altar being on its eastern side. 

2 From east to west. 8 From north to south. 
4 This is what was called the court of Israel. 

6 Called the court of priests. 

6 The five immersions which the High Priest had to undergo on the 
day of atonement when changing from golden garments to white and from 
white to golden were all upon the roof of the house of Parvah, because 
it was hallowed with the same degree of holiness as the court, and the 
immersions which were on account of the day of atonement were required 
to be in the holy place (as is written [Levit. xvi. 24], ' and he shall wash 
his flesh with water in the holy place '), except the first immersion, which 
was not on account of the day of atonement [but was the ordinary immer- 
sion required of every priest before going into the court]. And also on all 
other days of the year no clean person might enter the court until he had 
been immersed, and hence the first immersion was in the profane part [of 


The chamber of washings was so called because there they 
washed the inwards of the holy sacrifices and a winding 
stair 7 went up from it to the roof of the house of Parvah. 

4. Those on the south were the chamber of wood, the 
chamber of the captivity 8 [or of the draw-well], and the 
chamber Gazith. The chamber of wood, Rabbi Eliezer, 
the son of Jacob, said, ' I forget for what it served.' Aba 
Shaul said, ' it was the chamber of the High Priest, 9 and it 
was behind the other two, and the roof of the three was 
even. 10 The chamber of the draw-well. There the r6un 
113, the draw-well, was placed, and the wheel put 
over it, and from thence water was supplied to the whole 
court. The chamber Gazith : there the great Sanhedrin 
of Israel sat, 11 and judged the priesthood. And the priest 
in whom was found any disqualification was clothed in 
black and veiled in black, and went out and departed. 
And he in whom no disqualification was found, clothed in 
white, and veiled in white, entered and served with his 
brethren, the priests. And they made a festival, because 
no disqualification was found in the seed of Aaron the 
priest. And thus they said, ' Blessed be the place [i.e., 
God], blessed be he that no disqualification was found in 
the seed of Aaron. And blessed be he who chose Aaron 
and his sons, to stand and serve before Jehovah in the 
House of the Holy of Holies.' 

the Temple] over the Water gate. This was the third gate on the south, 
and a fountain of water was conveyed there by means of a conduit which 
came from the fountain Etham, and there the first immersion took place. 

7 Stone masonry turning and winding stairs to go up to the roof of the 
house of Parvah by a winding way. 

8 So called from a well which they who came up from the captivity [in 
Babylon] dug there. 

9 This was the chamber of wood ; it was the chamber of Parhedrin. 

10 There was one roof to the three. 

11 In the unhallowed side of it, for the chamber Gazith was half in the 
holy and half in the profane part of the Temple, and in the half which 
was in the holy part, it was not possible for the Sanhedrin to sit, because 
there was no right of sitting in the court for any but kings of the house of 
David only, as is written (2 Sam. vii. 18), 'then went Kinc David in and 
sat before the Lord.' 


Abtinas, house of, 205 
,, the Gate, 204 
Acanthus-leaved capitals, 254, 

Ailments of the feet, 41 
Akra, 272 
Aliyah, an, 322-3 
Altar, the great, 20, 301, 303, 

3°5. 3°9. 318, 349 
Altars, Babylonian, 318 
Animals, sacrificial, 219, 284, 

3°5. 307. 3°9, 317 
Annas, ' house ' of, 98, 294 
Antonia, fortress, 6, 120, 149, 

222, 260, 270 
Araunah's threshing-floor, 345 
Archelaus, 17, 53, 59, 60, 104 
Ashes, place of the, 312 


Babylonian altars, 318 
Banqueting-room of Herod, 222 
Barclay's gate, 257, 259 
Barriers in the Temple, 19 etc., 

84, 85, 123, 230, 298 
Basin in the Sakhrah Stone, 344 
Bath, the priests', 221, 223, 233, 

' Beautiful gate,' the, 48, 155, 

204, 208 
Bethesda, pool of, 80 
Beth Moked, 199, 221, 223, 233, 

298, 312, 315 
Bezetha, 269, 271 
Birket Israil, 272-3 
Bridge over the Tyropoean, 242, 


Builders, garments of the, 40 
„ wages of the, 17, 18, 

4°. 2 54 
Building of the Temple, 10, 12, 
13, 14, 16, 39, 44, 129, 131, 

Caesarea, 6, 7 

Candlestick, seven-branched, 43, 

Capitals, acanthus-leaved, 254, 

Casting-forth, gate of, 312 
Cave under the Sakhrah, 344 

Chambers about the Temple, 
285, 287, 312, 313, 315, 317, 

327. 344 
Chel, the, 180, 191, 226, 235 
Chests in the Treasury, 290 
Children in the Temple, 63, 65 
Christianity, Josephus and, 28 

etc., 172, 269 
Cloisters, 252, 288 
Cloud of incense, 38 
Cock-crow, the, 96 
Colonnades for feasting, 287 
Continuity of Worship, 43 
Cooking of sacrificial meats, 

Coponius, 233 
Courts of the Temple, 19-21, 30, 

190, 238 
Crassus, sacrilege of, 1 1 
Cubit, the, 186, vi. 
Curule chair, the, 111 
Cyrenius (see Quirimus) 

2 C 2 




Daily sacrifices, 36, 65 
Damage to the Temple, 60, 62 
Damascus gate, 260 
David's sepulchre, spoiling of, 

Dawn, watching for the, 36, 250 
Debir, the, 21, 303, 320 etc. 
Decline of reverence, 320-2, 325, 

Dedication of the Temple, 44, 

47. 129 
Dedication, Feast of the, 83 
Defences of the Temple, 260 
Dome of the Rock, carpet in, 43 
,, ,, .. pillars in, 255 
Dormitories, 327 
Double portico, the, 252 etc. 
Drainage of the Temple, 336, 

Dress of the builders, 40 
Duration of the Temple, 28 

Eagle, Herod's golden, 47 
Earthworks, 151, 269 
East gates, 214 
Eclipse in 4 B.C., 49 
Education, 45, 63 
Elevations above sea level, 338 
Enclosure, the, 151, 188, 196, 

229, 275 
Enrolment of Jesus, 53, 285 
Entry-gate of Kings, 258 
Essenes, the, 34, 238 

Feasting, 25, 287, 293 
Feet, ailments of the, 41 
First-born, gate of the, 199, 201 
Fish gate, the, 260 
Florus, Gessius, 76, 134 
Fortress of Antonia, 6, 120, 149, 

222, 260, 270 
' Forty-and-six years,' the, 26, 

Foundation, gate of the, 213 

Foundations of the Temple, 16, 

Fuel, chamber for, 287 
Furniture of the Temple, 43, 155, 

308, 311, 321 

Gabbatha, 5, no, 193, 229 
Galileans, the massacred, 69 
Galleries, 235, 289, 327 
Garments of the builders, 39 
Gate houses, 317 
Gates, 194 etc., 199, 207, 257 
Gazith, 97, 102, 283, 292 
Gentiles, court of the (see 

Solomon's Portico) 
' Golden gate,' the, 131, 212 etc., 

225, 265 
Golden vine, 81, 89 
Greek measurements, 180, 182 
Guard, gate of the, 218 
Guardians of the Temple, 51, 

205, 207 


Hananel, tower of, 260 

Harvest Festivals, 300 

Head, uncovering of the, 40 

Hekal, the, 21, 321 

Herod Antipas, 70 

Herod the Great, 1 etc., 58 
,, ,, his banquet- 

ing - room, 
,, „ his chamber in 

the Temple, 

13. 44 
,, ,, his golden 

eagle, 47 
,, ,, his income, 17 

,, his palace, 7 
Hezekiah's pool, 332 
Hieron, the, 22, 44, 282 etc., 291 
Historians, 28, 62, 173 
Horns of the Altar, 349 
Horse gate, 224 
' House ' of Annas, 99, 294 
Huldah gates, 241, 257 


39 1 

Incense, altar of, 43 
cloud of, 38 
making of, 206 
Inscription on the Warning 

Stone, 127 
Instruction of Children, 63, 299 
'Ir Enclosure, the, 151, 188, 196, 

229, 275 
Iron tools forbidden, 41 
Israel, court of, 21, 53, 297 

Jeconiah, gate of, 199, 201 
Jerusalem, height of above sea, 

Jewish parties, 33 etc. 
John of Gischala, 137 
Josephus and Christianity, 28f., 

172, 269 
Judas, 26, 105 

Judgment Seat, in, 193, 230-1 
Judicial Court of Hebrew Kings, 



Kipunus, 232 

King's Entry Gate, 258 

Kings, court of Hebrew, 4 

Lamb room.. 313 
Laver, the great, 302 
Lepers, chamber of, 21, 286 
Levelling of the site, 227, 260, 

339. 346, 348 
Levels of the Temple, 140, 190, 

338, 340 
Levites, the, 35, 63, 66, 299, 

3*5. 3 2 7 
Libations, So, 351 
Lighting of the Temple, 22, 50, 

Lightfoot, John, 176 

Makhama Hall, the, 287 
Mart in Solomon's Portico, the, 

54, 71. 82, 87 
Measurement, standards of, vi., 

16, 180, 182, 185, 187, 190, 278 
Medical doctor, 41 
Middoth, 174, 202, 371 
Millo, 230 
Mishna, 174 
Moat, east of Antonia, 266 etc., 

Monoliths, 246 
Mountain of the House, the, 

230, 232, 236-7, 265 

Naus, the, 22 etc., 43, 2S2, 296 

Nazirites, chamber of the, 21, 

56, 123, 285 
Nicanor gate, 199, 204, 231 
Night in the Temple, 83, 94, 98 
Nitsutz gate, 199, 202 


Offering, gate of, 199, 202 
' Offerings,' 88 
Oil, house of, 286 
Orientation, 352-3 

Palace of Herod, 7 

Palestine, a Roman Province, 

3°. 33. 63. 93 
Parties, Jewish, 33 etc. 
Parvah, chamber, 312 
Pastophoria, 68, 242, 250 
Paul in the Temple, 118, 122, 
162, 285 

,, on the ' stairs,' 262 
Pentecost, the place of, 114 
Pharisee and Publican, the, 87, 

Pharisees, the, 30, 33 
Physician of the Temple, 41 
Pilgrims to the Temple, 35, 103 



PiUars, 246, 253, 255, 279 
' Pinnacle,' the, 55, 68, 251 
Plan of the Temple, 21, 189, 190 
Plans of the Temple, conven- 
tional, 176 
Police, Levitical, 63, 327 
Pompey in the Temple, 11, 268 
Pool of Bethesda, 80 
Hezekiah, 332 
,, Siloam, 331 
Pools, Solomon's, 333 
Porch, Solomon's, 13, 197 
Porches of the Gate, 96, 317 
Portico, the double "252 etc. 
„ Solomon's (see Solo- 
mon's Portico) 
Prastorium, the, 264 note 
Presentation of the infant Jesus, 

54. 285 
Pride of race, Jewish, 185, 203 
Priests in the Temple, 21, 35, 52, 

66, 298, 321, 324-7 
Procurators, Roman, 65 
Prospect gate, 215 
' Pulpit,' the, 300-1 

Quirinius, 17, 53, 144 

Rainfall, 336-7 
Reverence, decline of, 320-2, 

325. 353 
Roadways, 217, 220, 305, 313, 

Robinson's Bridge, 243 
Roman government in Pales- 
tine, 30, 33, 63, 93, 
119, 263 
,, procurators, 65 
triumph, 155, 157 
Roofs, 325 
Royal portico (see Stoa Basilica) 

Sacrifices, 36, 65, 311, 319 
Sacrificial animals, 219, 2S 

. 3°5. 3°7. 3°9, 317 
Sadducees, the, 30, 34 

Sakhrah Stone, the, 20, 190, 

315. 338. 34°. 345- 34 8 
Sanctuary gate, 217 
Sanhedrin, the, 21, 62-3, 93, 

95. 97-8, 102, 283, 292-4 
Scripture, knowledge of, 299 
Sea level, elevations above, 338 
Sebaste (Sebustieh), 7 
Second Temple, 11-13, 184, 226, 

348, 352 
Selah, 304 

Sepulchre, David's, 46 
Seven-branched candlestick, 43, 

Shechinah, the, 327 
Sheep gate, 80, 218 
Shewbread, 43 
Shushan gate, 265 
Sicarii, the, 129, 133 
Siloam, pool of, 331 
Site of the Temple, 15, 16, 145, 
183, 227, 260, 339, 340, 346, 
348. 35i 
Slaying of sacrificial animals, 

307, 3°9, 317 
Smoke of the sacrifices, 319 
Solomon's Pools, 333 

„ Portico, 12, 21, 24, 
26, 47, 54, 72, 81, 
85, 94, 114, 197, 
„ Porch, 13, 197 
,, Stables, 224, 242 

Temple, 13, 184, 186, 
346-8, 352 
Song, gate of, 202, 299 
Soreg, the Inner— eastern limit 

of the Naos, 297 
Soreg, the Middle — its twelfth 
step, 87 
,. ,, ,, separating 
the Gen- 
tile Por- 
tico, 123 
.. ., ,, height of, 

„ ,, ,, position of, 

,, ,, ,, width of, 



Soreg, the Middle — approach 
to, 238 
,, ,, construc- 
tion of, 
,, ,, ,, its fourteen 
,, ,, ,, reticulation 

of. 375 
,, ,, illustration 
of, 277 
Soreg, the Outer — enclosing the 

Chel, 226 f. 
Specifications, schedule of, 355 
Standards of measurement, 16, 

180, 182, 185, 187, 190, 278 
Steps in the Temple Enclosure, 

20, 189, 191, 207, 292, 297, 

306, 326 
Stoa Basilica, 241 etc., 252 
Stone, the Warning, 127, 177, 

277, 279 
Store-rooms, 307, 314 
Stoves, house of (see Beth 

Strato's Tower, 6, 77, 221 
Substructions, 16, 228, 242, 339 
Subterranean passages, 77, 221, 

223, 233, 246, 326, 329, 332 
Sun Worship, 65, 353 
Symbolism, the Temple in, 

160 etc. 
Synagogues, worship in, 36, 63 

Tabernacle, the, 183 

Tadi gate, 220, 223, 233, 234 

Temple, Herod's, barriers in, 

19 etc., 84-5, 

123, 230, 298 

,, ,, building of, 10, 

12-14, 16,28, 

37. 39, 44.47. 

129, 131,275 

,, ,, chambers in, 

285, 287, 

312-13, 315, 

317, 327. 344 

Temple, Herod's, children in, 63, 

,, concourse of 

people in, 37, 

51, 65, 288 
,, courts of, 19 

etc., 50, 190, 

damage to, 60, 

dedication of, 

44. 47. 129 
„ defences of, 

„ drainage of, 

336, 348 
duration of, 28 
feasting in, 25, 

287, 293 
foundations of, 

16, 90 
,, furniture of, 43, 


,, gates of, 194 

etc., 199,207, 


,, guardians of, 
51, 205, 207 

,, Herod's cham- 
ber in, 13, 44 

„ Judas in, 26, 

levels of, 140, 

190, 338, 340 
„ lepers in, 21, 

lighting of, 22, 

50, 321 

of, 187 
night in, 83, 

94, 98 
orientation of, 


Paul in, 118, 

122, 162, 285 

,, physician of, 41 

pilgrims to, 35, 




Temple, Herod's, plan of, 21, 
189, 190 
,, plan, conven- 
tional, 176 
,, police of, 35, 

63, 327 
„ Pompey in, 11, 

,, priests in, 21, 

35, 52, 66, 
298, 321, 

pulpit in, 

,, Roman over- 
sight of, 119, 

„ sacrifices in, 36, 

,, site of, 15, 16, 



346, 348, 351 
,, Soregs in (see 

steps in, 20, 

189, 191,207, 

292, 297,306, 

symbolism of, 

160 etc. 
,, traffic in, 54, 

71, 82, 87 
treasures of, 

3°7> 320 
„ veils of, 42, 

3°7. 320 
,, walls of, 194 
water supply 

of, 191, 201, 

230, 259, 291 

3°3. 3°5,3°9, 

„ ,, worship in, 

36, 43, 56, 

Temple, Solomon's, 13, 184, 186, 

346-8, 352 
Temple, the Second, 11-13, 184, 

226, 348, 352 

Temptation of Jesus, the, 55, 
68, 251 

Threshing-floor of Araunah, the, 

Timber round Jerusalem, 268 
Tools, iron, 41 
Traffic in the Temple, 54, 71, 82, 

Treasures of the Temple, 307, 

Treasury Court, the, 21, 55, 81, 

84, 156, 190, 283, 289, 301 
Triumph, Roman, 155, 157 
Tyropcean bridge, 243, 258 

Uncovering of the head, 40 

,. ,, feet, 41 

Upper gate, 200 

Vaults, 235 

Veils of the Temple, the, 42, 

307, 320 
Vine, the golden, 81, 89 

Wages of the builders, 17, 18, 

46. 254 
Walls of the Temple, 194 
Warning Stone, the, 127, 177, 

277, 279 
Warren's gate, 257-8 
Washing of sacrificial animals, 

Water gate, 199, 201, 310 
„ libations of, 80 
„ supply of the Temple, 191, 
201, 230, 259, 291, 303, 

305. 309. 33° 
Wicket gates, 204, 316 
Wilson's gate, 257 
Windows, 278, 327 
Wine, libations of, 351 
Women, court of the, 21, 55, 81, 
84, 140, 190, 238, 283, 289 



Women, gates of, 199, 202, 210, 

Wood house, the, 287 
Worship in the Synagogue, 36, 

,i „ Temple, 36, 43, 
56, 297 


Xystus, the, 259 

Zacharias, 26, 52 
Zealots, the, 132, 136